In their two-hour-plus set, Justin Timberlake and Jay Z brought the crowd more excitement than the stadium has seen in years, delivering more big hits than a full season of the Dolphins' defense.
Twenty years ago, JT and Jay would have been an unlikely match, The Mouseketeer and the crack slinger. But on this evening, they were equals. From the first song, "Holy Grail," Timberlake took the left of the stage and Jay Z the right. They stood under screens displaying Greco-Roman sculptures. And they shared a massive backing band, set up in three tiers. There were no breaks between sets. A Jay Z song would segue into a Timberlake number.
Now, Hova is known to be musically promiscuous, willing to collaborate with anybody. He has toured and recorded with partners such as Linkin Park, R. Kelly, and Kanye West, but there was more of a seamless harmony between Jay and JT than those previous mash-ups. If one of Justin's songs needed Jay Z's hype, Mr. Carter was right there. If "99 Problems" needed the guitar lick from Aerosmith's "Walk This Way," Timberlake was ready to show off his Guitar Hero skills.
It was said of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers that he gave her class and she gave him sex. The Jay and JT partnership also produces a similar mutually beneficial symbiosis. But it wasn't until Justin Timberlake went into a rendition of Frank Sinatra's version of "New York New York" to introduce "Empire State of Mind" that it became evident of who their cultural ancestors are, Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.