During The Weeknd’s show, if the audience blinks, they risk losing sight of him. During his performance in São Paulo on Tuesday evening (10/10), the Canadian singer walked across a stage that extended across the entire lawn of Allianz Parque, the Palmeiras stadium, west of the capital.
With structures such as a giant moon and a metal body spread across the arena, the artist moved throughout the performance. The stage itself, where the musicians played, was smaller than usual in this type of show, with a set design highlighting miniature buildings and a screen which served as an extension of the stage.
The Weeknd presented his futuristic show in São Paulo after performing in Rio de Janeiro three days ago at the Nilton Santos stadium. The pop star will perform again at the Allianz Parque this Wednesday (11/10).
Unlike what other pop artists have done, such as Rosalía, The Weeknd was projected only on a small screen, placed at the side of the stage, while the Spanish singer’s show is filmed as a sort of shot footage shown live as she sings.
While it was difficult for those on the dance floor to follow The Weeknd’s moves, it took him exactly an hour to show up. On stage, the singer presented himself as a character from another planet, with one of his arms covered in a silver coating and a Daft Punk-style helmet.
He entered the stage at 8:45 p.m., 15 minutes late, and performed more than 40 songs in about two hours of performance. The show was fast and flowing, with songs cut or just the chorus sung.
But unlike trap shows, where songs are traditionally cut in two, The Weeknd put them together without having time to breathe. A pop star with one foot in R&B and the other in retread 1980s synthpop, he was accompanied by a band of bass, keyboards and drums.
The repertoire focused on the last decade of his career, when he rose to fame with the album “Beauty Behind the Madness” in 2015. The Weeknd entered the stage to the sound of “La Fama”, a song by Rosalía to which he participates in, and edited two of the 2016 album “Starboy” – “False Alarm” and “Party Monster”.
Next, he released a sequence of “Dawn FM”, his most recent work, from 2022 – “Take my Breath”, “Sacrifice” and “How Do I Make You Love Me?” “Can’t Feel my Face,” one of their biggest hits, came next, packing the audience of tens of thousands.
The presentation indiscriminately mixed together pieces from across the Canadian’s career, interspersed with quotes from his collaborations on other people’s songs. This was the case for “Hurricane” by Kanye West, “Low Life” by Future, “Circus Maximus” by Travis Scott, “Creepin’” by Metro Boomin and “Moph to a Flame” by Swedish House Mafia.
The Weeknd on stage didn’t attract attention due to his vocal technique, but he delivered the shaky high notes that are his trademark and distributed charisma. He mentioned São Paulo in snippets of lyrics and reiterated that he loved the city and its fans between performances.
During the first hour, the show was driven more by the set design, which even had dancers – actually, people dressed in white walking around the vast stage. With the singer wearing headphones, the relationship with the audience was cooler.
The final stretch was hotter and featured a greater concentration of hits. He had already played “Starboy,” “Heartless” and “Reminder” throughout the setlist, but the show caught fire even after the sequence with “Faith” and the 2020 album’s title track “After Hours.”
The artist released “Earned It”, “In the Night” and “Love me Harder” before saying that “Out of Time”, sung next, was his favorite from his most recent album. He sang the hit in the middle of the audience, placing the microphone in the audience’s mouth so fans could complete the verses of the lyrics.
Musically, The Weeknd sounded less interesting live than in the studio. The bass was so loud that it drowned out the other instruments, damaging the nuances of the rhythm provided by the drums and the harmonies of the guitars. It all felt like a huge waste.
The crowd wasn’t the loudest either. He sang the choruses of “I Feel it Coming” and “Call Out my Name,” “Save Your Tears” and “Blinding Lights” out loud, but he continued to play on his cell phone or talk to so many people. others, especially songs. from the trilogy of mixtapes revealed in 2011 and which made little noise.
But this indifference was not enough to bring down the show. Indeed, for every less famous song he sang, he had two or three other hits to make up for it, proving the anticipation and hype around his name.
Moreover, the performances lasted so short that there was no time to get bored. This also served the most lively moments, which ended so quickly that we didn’t have time to fully enjoy them.
It left the impression of a rushed show, even though it lasted more than two hours, that speaks to an audience whose attention span is the length of a TikTok video. In a way, he was marrying the audience who, at many moments, preferred to film the singer – or film themselves enjoying the show – rather than jumping or singing along with the musician.
“Internet fanatic. Evil organizer. Tv fanatic. Explorer. Hipster-friendly social media junkie. Certified food expert.”