John Lamb, Published February 04 2014
Justin Timberlake and his fans all grown up since his days of 'N Sync, last Fargodome show
The mostly teenage girls have had 14 years to recover and compose themselves – only to completely lose it again this Friday when Justin Timberlake returns.
The pretty boy of the boy band has grown into quite a man, a triple, maybe even quadruple threat, now known almost as much for his acting and comedy chops as for his singing and dancing.
While he’s all grown up, he still has the power to reduce grown women into screaming girls.
Talking to women who saw him then and are going now, the consensus is that they are prepared to return to childish ways.
“There’s a 100 percent chance I will be screaming like an 11-year-old,” says Kayla Goebel, referring to how old she was in ’99.
Like many at the time, she was infatuated with Timberlake, generally considered the heartthrob of the quintet.
“I wore an ’N Sync shirt and all of that crazy stuff you do when you’re boy crazy,” she says now with a laugh.
And for a period in the show, she felt they shared a moment.
“I still remember being completely convinced that Justin Timberlake saw me in the crowd, looked me in the eye and laughed,” the 25-year-old says. “Now I look back and think, ‘Oh my gosh. I was crazy. Literally a psychotic 11-year-old.’”
Goebel will be there Friday night and knows what will happen if Timberlake looks at her again.
“I will probably cry,” she says.
Nicole Braunberger was an ’N Sync “super fan” before that ’99 show. While she grew up after that date, the 30-year-old never outgrew Timberlake.
“It probably escalated after that experience,” she says.
She’s had some experience working through her JT crush. Since the ’99 ’N Sync show, she’s seen the singer perform a handful of times as a solo artist. In fact, two days after she sees him at the Fargodome, she’ll drive down to St. Paul to see him again at the Xcel Energy Center.
Braunberger was in the front row for the ’N Sync show and in VIP for Friday’s date and has heard he plays to that section.
No matter where she is, she’s learned she has to enjoy it while it lasts.
“It’s going to go by so fast because it’s so awesome. I just hope I can remember some of the memorable moments,” she says. “He’s the best performer I’ve ever seen live.”
Nicole Holden didn’t have great seats for the ’99 show, but that didn’t put a damper on the concert.
“I went with my boyfriend at the time who was also a really big fan,” says the 27-year-old Holden. “We had floor seats but they were pretty far back. Still exciting but I kept my screaming at bay since I was there with a boy.”
The ’99 show was a girls’ night out for Tammi Kromenaker and her 9-year-old daughter.
“It was something I wanted to do for Ariel,” The 42-year old says. “It seemed tame. It seemed safe. It seemed like a good first concert experience that we could go to together.”
Kromenaker walked away a fan and now 14 years is going for herself, even if her daughter isn’t able to go.
“I expect this concert to be better because I think he alone is a better showman than ’N Sync was as a group,” she says. “His music is much less boy band, lovey dovey than ’N Sync was. I think he’s an amazing performer. He’s an impressive talent.”
All of the women agree that Timberlake hasn’t just aged well, he’s gotten better with time.
“I feel like anything he does turns into gold, whether it’s comedy gold or music gold,” Goebel says.
“I think he’s really found himself. He’s really perfected his craft,” Braunberger says. “He’s so talented, I get jealous just watching him. It’s so effortless you wish you had just a little bit of that talent.”
“After ’N Sync he really had the opportunity to find his own voice and style. I think he has done a good job about staying true to himself,” Holden says. “Plus, he really got the hair thing figured out the last few years.”
His curly locks may have posed a problem, but the ladies never have.
“I think the same women that screamed in 1999 will still be screaming, including myself,” Kromenaker says.
Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533