After hosting the WWE’s Royal Rumble last week, Florida hosted Super Bowl LV (55) and its halftime show starring The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, at the Raymond James Stadium, home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (It’s the first time in NFL history that a team in the Super Bowl is playing at their home stadium.) In another first, fans weren’t allowed on the field for the halftime show due to covid restrictions, which also forced a cap for the stadium’s capacity to 22,000, not counting the cardboard cutout fans, making it the lowest attended game. But that didn’t faze The Weeknd, who lit up the halftime show running through his hit-laden catalog, reminding everyone—Grammys included—why he’s one of the biggest stars today.
The Weeknd descended on stage in front of neon cityscapes and a background choir packing the stands donning his red sequin jacket and all-black fit of the After Hours album era before crooning “Starboy” and “The Hills.” He quickly turned up the energy parting the bleachers again, slipping into a light tunnel of mirrors for a close-up, camera-whirring performance of “I Can’t Feel My Face” joined by bandage-wrapped choreographed clones. The bit has already birthed a meme.
Reaching new heights, literally, The Weeknd stayed on the move heading to the top of the stage for fireworks-filled performances of “I Feel It Coming” and “Save Your Tears.” He then skillfully slowed things down for his hit “Earned It” joined by the choir from earlier now playing a violin.
Where else was The Weeknd to go but down onto the field. There, rows of synchronized Weeknd clones marched before breaking out into dance joined by The Weeknd closing the show with his megahit “Blinding Lights,” one of the bright spots, no pun intended, of 2020.
The Weeknd is a gambling man betting on himself in more ways than one, not only choosing to perform solo but also putting up $7 million of his own money to make his luminescent vision come true. It’s safe to say he won.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9rhadTURsrw full performance
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