only, figures in popular music who have enjoyed consistent multi-platinum success for the past 15 years – Jay-Z's first blockbuster album was released in 1998, the same year that Timberlake's career-launching boy band ‘N Sync burst onto the scene. Of course, Timberlake never touched on those early days in his set on Thursday, drawing just from his three solo albums, as well as "Take Back The Night," the regrettably titled single from his fourth album due next month. With such a small discography, Timberlake was able to perform all of his hits and then some, effectively fitting everything you could hope for in one of his solo concerts into this two-headed monstrosity. Jay-Z, however, has a much larger, more varied catalog than Timberlake, with more hits than he'd be able to perform with a night all to himself. Always shrewdly aware of his surroundings, Hov didn't fail to perform most of the pop hits that have long made him hip-hop's most respected crossover success. Although Jay only sparingly played hypeman to Timberlake's solo showcases, Timberlake often put in overtime to help accentuate his tourmate's hits – he played guitar on "99 Problems," and did a mean Frank Sinatra impression, singing "New York, New York" before and after Jay-Z's chart-topping hit "Empire State of Mind." But perhaps the best fusion of their talents was "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," the 2001 single which features a sample of the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back." Timberlake sang a few bars of the sample in tribute to his idol, Michael Jackson, before Jay-Z rapped about "Servin' ‘em in the home of the Terrapins," a nod to his days of slinging drugs in Maryland, two decades before he'd be headlining a stadium in Baltimore. Even in this environment, however, Jay-Z didn't hold back entirely from giving his hardcore fans the show they'd want to see whether or not Timberlake was there. He never held back from swearing, and bombastic album tracks like "U Don't Know" and "Encore" shook the stadium. And even some of his biggest chart hits tend to be dense with observational detail and social commentary, often about the paradox of being a rich black man in a white man's world, which took on some particular poignancy in this context. Treacly 2009 single "Young Forever," perhaps the worst Jay-Z has ever released, was rendered surprisingly movingly as a closing duet with Timberlake in tribute to Trayvon Martin. Sometimes the specter of race hovered over the proceedings awkwardly; in "99 Problems," when Jay-Z has a hostile exchange with a police officer, basically a stand-in for the racist white establishment prepared to hold back anyone who looks like him, it was Timberlake, the white R&B singer beloved by black radio, who played the cop. (During the Jay-Z/Kanye West "Watch the Throne" tour a couple years ago, West played the cop.) The 18-piece band backing the duo did a fantastic job of bringing each catalog to life, even if they were often largely providing window dressing to the canned studio track, particular for Jay-Z's songs. Minor singles like "Summer Love" and "On to the Next One" were enlivened by their arrangements. Timberlake's songs were seldom drawn out to the overblown 7-minute suites of his last two albums, but were stretched out just enough to retain that relaxed, expansive mood. His biggest embellishments were often ad libbed rap lyrics over sections of his songs, like the line "Spending everything on Alexander Wang" from Kanye West's "New Slaves" – an affectionate, if oddly chosen, tip of the hat after West criticized "Suit & Tie" earlier this year. But generally, it was an ill-advised habit – nobody really wants to hear the chorus of Juicy J's strip club anthem "Bandz A Make Her Dance" in the middle of the dramatic "Cry Me A River." Timberlake's essential dorkiness can be both the best and worst thing about his stage persona. He often still seemed like the eager showbiz kid when showing off his many talents, switching from guitar to keyboard, pulling off a smooth dance step, or flaunting his falsetto on an inspired take of "Pusher Love Girl." But he held his own well enough alongside Jay-Z's unflappable kingpin persona, and they entered and exited the stage as equals that afforded each other mutual respect, playing at implying a deeper friendship that may or may not be there. The temporary alignment of their brands functions well as a corporate merger, but on this particular night, it turned out to be a pretty appealing proposition for thousands of fans as well.