REVIEW: The Weeknd’s Electrifying Halftime Performance Was One for the Ages

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This year’s Super Bowl LV Halftime Performer, The Weeknd, gave a near-perfect performance of his greatest hits. The show gave me consistent chills and could possibly be one of the best performances the Super Bowl has had in years. 

From the beginning of the performance, you could tell that this entire halftime show would be reminiscent of his “After Hours” album, especially while wearing his signature red blazer. The show starts out on this 3D adventure in the neon lights of a cityscape. Above The Weeknd, what appeared to be an angel floated from the sky to join a crowd of angels on the stage that was built into the stadium. 

Before his entrance, the angels sang a choral arrangement of “Call Out My Name” before The Weeknd entered to sing “Starboy.” There was not much to this song except for the absolutely beautiful vocals that The Weeknd has. 

“Starboy” soon transitioned into The Weeknd’s other well-known hit, “The Hills.” Out of the entire performance, this song was probably my favorite. Maybe it’s because The Weeknd’s impeccable talent and amazing vocals took this song to a new level. At this point, the stage was lit where you could see an outline of a cityscape. When the chorus came around, I had chills. Something about this rock, choral-filled version of “The Hills” was amazing.

Next, The Weeknd took us inside the stage into his iconic mirror room with an army of dancers who sported his famous head bandage look. He then began singing “I Can’t Feel My Face.” What was really cool about this performance is that the dancers were everyday people, not professional dancers. For these performers, their lives were changed forever by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This performance was chaotic, yet choreographed perfectly and really fun even for those who watched from home. Everything about this segment was entertaining and your eyes were always watching something: the dancers, The Weeknd and the visuals. Not to mention, The Weeknd gave us a new iconic Super Bowl meme from the hall of mirrors.

Twitter has fallen in love with this shot of The Weeknd in the hall of mirrors. – Photo via vulture.com.

What I didn’t expect was the switch up to his song “Earned It,” but it was quite elegant and beautiful. Some dancers were joined with an orchestra. He also sang “I Feel it Coming” and “Save Your Tears.” These beautiful songs were met with minimal effects and visuals, not to mention all of the beautiful vocals were excellently done.

We are met with the bandaged up dancers, now onstage, in what can only be described as an army of dancers having a mini dance break. This seemed to be a nod to some of The Weeknd’s earlier fans in “House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls.” This song transitioned into his hit single, “Blinding Lights,” to which I yelled, and I quote, “I know where this is heading!” and again, had absolute chills.

By the time this song came on, I was out of my seat dancing. This version of “Blinding Lights,” to say the least, was electrifying. I didn’t think the song could get any better, but when you add live guitar and more vocals, it gets better. On the field, all you saw were flashing lights and fireworks – very in-theme with his hit single. The choreography and visuals were an organized chaos of amazing proportions. I would expect nothing less from The Weeknd. 

This is a performer who enjoys what he does, and it shows. He spent money to put on the performance he envisioned without getting paid. The Weeknd put on, inarguably, one of the best Super Bowl Halftime Performances of all time.  

Though Super Bowl LV’s Halftime Performance was unlike any other, the other performances were as amazing as always. H.E.R.’s rendition of “America the Beautiful” was beautifully felt all over the country, and Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church had a unique performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

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