Is anyone cooler than Justin Timberlake?
“Absolutely not,” Katie Donaldson said with zero hesitation.
Is anyone else even close?
“He was in the Mickey Mouse Club. How can you be close?”
Why is he cooler than everybody else?
“Well, he dated Britney Spears. He is married to Jessica Biel. And he can dance better than anybody else. He has got it all.”
This was a conversation that took place outside the arena before Timberlake performed Saturday night at the BOK Center. Timberlake graced a BOK Center stage five years ago and he returned to Tulsa because he’s touring in support of his fifth album, “Man of the Woods.”
“Tulsa, what’s up?” Timberlake shouted before singing the title track from the album. “Welcome to the Man of the Woods tour 2018. Did you come to have a good time tonight? Cinco de Mayo!”
Timberlake took the stage a little after 9 p.m. and, joined by his entourage, performed on a stage that winded, like a nature trail, though all parts of the floor seating area. The “trail,” complete with faux trees, allowed him to be up close and personal with more of his fans, who roared in approval at his showmanship.
Donaldson had commuted to the tour stop from Fayetteville, Arkansas, with Holly Culver, who agreed with her friend that nobody is cooler than Timberlake.
“He can sing. He can dance. He’s an actor. He does it all,” Culver said. “There’s not a lot of people who can do it all and do it really well.”
Timberlake’s appeal is such that among those spotted walking into the arena was state senator and former University of Tulsa football coach David Rader and wife Janet. Said the legislator: “He’s very talented and he’s not stuck on himself and seems to have a lot of fun.”
Timberlake seems to ooze cool, whether he’s charming crowds like the one at the BOK Center or guest-starring on “Saturday Night Live” and fitting in so naturally that he feels like he’s a cast member. It is because of his cool factor that informal polling continued outside the BOK Center before his show.
Rader couldn’t immediately think of anyone cooler than Timberlake. Prince was cooler, according to Lisa Harper of Broken Arrow. And Elvis was probably cooler too, she added. But JT is her favorite artist in the here and now.
“This is the only concert on my bucket list, probably,” she said.
Harper said she paid more for tickets — $1,250 for two front-row seats — than she has ever paid for any concert. (She paid $138 for a pair of tickets to a recent Judas Priest concert at the BOK Center.)
“It was worth it,” she said. “This is like a birthday present to myself.” Her birthday is in July.
Harper brought her longtime friend Lisa Mantich of Tulsa to the show. Mantich was treated to her first BOK Center concert. She said she had only been to the 10-year-old arena once before and that was for a hockey game.
Like Harper, Mantich is a JT fan. Anybody cooler than him?
“What about Bruno (Mars)?” Mantich said.
“Not for me,” Harper said. “JT for me.”
When the “is-anybody-cooler-than-JT” topic was pitched to Julie Jameson, she said, “Beyonce is the only one I can think of.” Her husband stood out from most of the pre-concert crowd because of his attire, but even someone wearing an AC/DC shirt can appreciate JT. “Oh sure,” he said. “Talented guy.”