The Weeknd delivered an explosive halftime show performance, leaving a fair share of jaws-dropped.
The Grammy-winner delivered a memorable Super Bowl performance consisting of seven songs. He opened with the title track from his 2018 album Star Boy before leading into his 2015 hits “The Hills” and “Can’t Feel My Face.” It wasn’t long until The Weeknd performed tracks from his 2020 album After Hours, closing the performance with an extraordinary choreographed take on “Blinding Lights,” culminating with an impressive fireworks display
The Weeknd took the stage with a chorus and band wearing robotic masks while he sang “Star Boy,” seemingly referencing his collaborations with electronic music icons Daft Punk, before entering a backstage performance area, full with disorienting lights and mirrors, before a troupe of bandaged dancers rushed in.
Unlike past Super Bowl performances, most of The Weeknd’s spectacle was on a stage set in the stands. He didn’t begin performing on the field until his final song.
The Weeknd’s full halftime show setlist can be found here:
1. Star Boy
2. The HIlls
3. Can’t Feel My Face
4. I Feel It Coming
5. Save Your Tears
6. Earned It
7. Blinding Lights
Unfortunately, none of the Weeknd’s past collaborators like Daft Punk, Kendrick Lamar, Lana Del Rey or Ariana Grande dropped in for guest appearances. During an interview with the NFL Network, the Weeknd explained that “there wasn’t any room to fit it in the narrative and the story I was telling in the performance.”
The singer—whose real name is Abel Tesfaye—had previously announced that he planned to sing entirely live for the performance, breaking away from past performers who may have received some pre-recorded “help” for their halftime shows.
During his performances at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards and the American Music Awards, the Weeknd showed just how explosive he is with excessive pyrotechnics, offering memorable performances each time, especially his VMA-opening performance of “Blinding Lights” from the top of New York’s Hudson Yards. During his performances of “I Feel It Coming” and “Blinding Lights” during the halftime show, he had plenty of fireworks in the background.
Following the announcement that he would headline the Super Bowl halftime show, the Weeknd expressed anger that he did not receive any Grammy nods, as the awards show announced the nominees shortly after his Super Bowl appearance was announced. Recording Academy Chair and Interim President/CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said that the halftime show committment didn’t affect the Weeknd’s chances at performing or being nominated.
The Weeknd didn’t seem to cast any shade at the Grammys during his performance.
Originally published at https://www.newsweek.com/watch-weeknd-super-bowl-lv-2021-halftime-show-1567198 on .