The Weeknd clean-sweeps at the Super Bowl halftime show

The Weeknd proves yet again that Covid restrictions cannot stop him from being creative with his performances

By Hareem Fatima

KARACHI: The Weeknd has been known to curate mind-numbing experiences for his audiences. Sometimes for his performance from Manhattan’s skyscrapers with an elegant display of fireworks to conclude, other times by showing up battered and bruised to events and making a statement. Recently, Abel Tesfaye, widely known as The Weeknd took over the stage at Super Bowl and set it ablaze with an electrifying mashup of his greatest hits.

Starting with ‘Starboy’, and ending at ‘Blinding Lights’, the performance used a number of different sets as their setting. Starting his performance with ‘Starboy’, the cityscape holding a choir of red-eyed automatons parted to reveal the singer bathing in light. Though he chose all of his recent songs, his performance brought back the 80s pop while the singer also dazzled doing a few steps inspired by Michael Jackson.

He then disappeared into a golden maze of mirrors, quite similar to the one he used for his performance of ‘Blinding Lights’ at a Manhattan skyscraper. There, coupled with dancers with bandaged faces, a look Tesfaye has been pulling off rather frequently, he performed ‘Can’t Feel My Face’. The performance both, applaud worthy and dizzying, has been making rounds on social media through memes.

He then reappeared outside to perform ‘Can Feel It Coming’ before he switches to the field to sing a medley of ‘The House of Balloons and Blinding Lights’.

Interesting to note is the fact that The Weeknd has not been paid by the Super Bowl for his performance. Rather, the singer himself invested 7 million USD to curate this performance. While it may sound outrageous, it is nothing short of successful investment as Billboard reports that The Weeknd’s sales have gone up by 385% after the Super Bowl halftime show.

While R&B is the genre The Weeknd mostly goes with, it is considered more ‘lonesome’, making it extremely risky taking it to the Super Bowl where energetic music sits better with the crowd. With an intricately curated set design and his music blended with 80s pop and late 70s disco feel, the performance kept the audiences mesmerized not only with his voice but also the spectacle he set up. Seems like he won the bet with this one as praises keep pouring in for the show he put up.


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