The Weeknd Delivered Super Bowl Halftime Performance Complete With Bandaged Dancers
The Weeknd headlined one of the world’s largest stages Sunday night, Super Bowl 55’s halftime show.
He took over Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium for his 13-minute set consisting of his greatest hits, like “Blinding Lights” and “Save Your Tears” from his newest album After Hours, released spring 2020. The Weeknd, who’s real name is Abel Tesfaye, also sang some older songs like “Starboy,” “The Hills” and “I Can’t Feel My Face.”
As taking the stage of one of the first live performances with an audience in almost a year, 25,000 masked patrons were in attendance at Sunday night’s game with 7,500 being vaccinated health care workers, fans expected The Weeknd to have a large spectacle. Unlike past Super Bowl performances, the singer built a concert like stage on the side of the stadium and did not go onto the field until the last number. By not taking advantage of the entire stadium, the performance felt more award show style despite having an extremely high budget.
Instead, the performance more felt like promo for his After Hours album, keeping the narrative of the character he created for the album’s visuals. The Weeknd wore a red jacket and dancers in face-bandages, a creative way for them to wear masks while keeping to the Weeknd’s aesthetic.
The Weeknd’s choreography was limited to the singer walking around but the show’s most claustrophobic ( and most meme-able) moment occurred when he sang “I Can’t Feel My Face” in a yellow-lit hallway with the appearance of him holding the camera leading to bandaged dancers butting into each other.
Most likely due to the pandemic, The Weeknd did not bring out any guests during his performance. Fans were hoping to collaborations with Ariana Grande (“Love Me Harder”), Daft Punk (“Starboy”) or Kendrick Lamar (“Pray For Me”).
Despite the performance’s small feel, it was thrilling to feel the energy of live music again in a time when we don’t know when we’ll be able to go to concert again. The Weeknd delivered with great vocals and a charming stage presence.
Start brainstorming who you want to see tackle the Super Bowl 56’s halftime show next year while watching The Weeknd’s performance.