Earlier The Weeknd, aka Abel Tesfaye, tweeted: ”i‘ve got the realest fans in the world. you either fuck with me or you don’t. there is no in between..”
Indeed, there are only two types of people in this world: Those that get The Weeknd, and those who don’t. And for us that do, we realize how much he stands out while still appealing very much to the mainstream. This would mean nothing if he didn’t live up to all the heaps of praise showered upon him, as a performer. But I can objectively say The Weeknd is well worth the hype.
Having debuted just last year, this (first?) tour has an air of modesty to it. Just a select few dates, no tourmates except Florence Welch (!) who showed up to a few dates, and not even any merch to buy (!!). Instead, this tour is strictly about his music, and in that respect, he nailed it last night.
He was joined onstage by a touring band of guitar/drums/bass, giving his live music more of an organic feel. I was a little disappointed that they kept his vocals a little buried beneath the instruments, but at least it wasn’t like he was trying to sell us short or anything. In fact he was more than capable of hitting all of the same notes that you hear on record (..on MP3?).
Content-wise, we were treated to a pretty even mix of songs from all three mixtapes, as well as his contribution on Drake’s “Crew Love”. His two-parters (“The Party & The Afterparty, House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls”), “The Morning”, and “Outside” were among the highlights of the night. “Wicked Games” was the last song of the night, performed acoustic which put his vocals front and center. And he nailed it, showing off his operatic range with all those “whoaa”s and “oohhhh”s that always peppers his songs. In conclusion, I’d say going to see The Weeknd is well worth the price of admission, and I could easily slot this in my top 5 shows ever seen.