The ‘NSYNC reunion fans have been waiting for finally happened.
After saying “Bye, Bye, Bye” in 2002, Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass and Chris Kirkpatrick reunited on Monday night – gathering to celebrate Chasez’s 40th birthday at The h.wood Group’s restaurant, The Nice Guy.
Timberlake posted a photo of the sweet get-together on Instagram, captioning the shot, “And if you don’t know, now you know.”
“The guys spent the entire night together. They all sat in a group and just reunited, relived and had such a ball. They were laughing and smiling all night long,” an onlooker tells PEOPLE.
“Justin and [wife] Jessica were really cute together. They were arm-in-arm at times, but she let him have his time with his ‘NSYNC crew and let JC have the spotlight on his birthday.”
The party was an intimate affair, with about 50 family and friends enjoying live music, drinks and pizza before gathering together for a toast to JC and “Happy Birthday” singalong.
While the bandmates have remained close friends since going their separate ways, it’s become rare to see them all together. The “I Want You Back” singers were supposed to reunite at last February’s 40th anniversary celebration of SNL, but inclement weather kept some of the guys from attending.
“Two minutes after seeing everybody, you feel like no time has passed,” Chasez told Ryan Seacrest then, of getting the band back together.
“It was just a matter of time,” he explained. “Everybody would ask us, ‘When are you guys going to do something?’ ”
At Chasez’s party, the guys seemed to be all smiles. On social media, both Bass and Kirkpatrick posted messages of support for the new 40-year-old – Kirkpatrick, who is 44, welcoming him to “the old man club.”
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Of course, ‘NSYNC fans would like to see the band back together and performing too. Unlike their contemporaries like Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees – who continue to record and tour – ‘NSYNC hasn’t put out new music since 2001’s Celebrity.
They probably won’t anytime soon, either. Timberlake continues to have solo success – most recently with his chart-topping hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling” – the first single off the soundtrack from the DreamWorks Animations-film Trolls, due Nov. 4, for which Timberlake served as executive music producer.
Until then, fans can enjoy their time together as friends – and the rare reunions like this.
• Reporting by MELODY CHIU