The Weeknd Halftime Show

Stars: 4.5/5

The Weeknd shined through the “Blinding Lights” of his halftime show performance. 

Canadian singer The Weeknd performed in the annual Pepsi Halftime show in Super Bowl 55. Coming off of possibly the biggest year of his career, many were excited about the star's performance.  

In 2020 The Weeknd released his latest album “After Hours” and it was one of the biggest albums of the year. “Blinding Lights” is back up on the Billboard top 100 being the third top charting song spending 60 weeks on the chart. The album itself is up to No. 4 on the Billboard top 200 spending 45 consecutive weeks on the chart. 

Even with the continued success of “After Hours” The Weeknd did not get nominated for any Grammy awards. With it being rumored that this was because he agreed to perform at the halftime show instead of the Grammys due to the previous time conflict. He had something to prove with his performance tonight and it’s safe to say he did just that. 

Every award show performance The Weeknd has done in this era has been incredible, so I had high expectations for this performance. I don’t remember the last time I was so excited for a halftime show. 

The performer announced in an interview last week that he would not have any special guests perform alongside him during the show. This disappointed fans after many speculated he might bring artists like Ariana Grande and Rosalía to  perform with him. Even though I was also disappointed by this news I had no doubt The Weeknd could put on a show on his own. 

The performance started off with the main stage showing a city like setting. The Weeknd comes out of his car in his classic attire, a red jacket (but this time it’s sparkly) and all black with his new signature hair. 

A group choir is revealed, and the artist comes out of a golden entrance to officially start the show. 

He starts off strong with his hit song “Starboy.” The choir sings along while city buildings are outlined by flashing lights. The choir then gets lit, and so did I at home, to “The Hills.” There was smoke, lights and all the vibes. 

I love that even at home during a time where concerts are not safe to attend that The Weeknd made me feel like I was having fun at a live show. 

Next was “I Can’t Feel My Face” with the audience getting close ups of The Weeknd’s face as he sings in a golden hallway. This was the highlighted meme of the night with fans sharing clips and photos all over Twitter. Then multiple people dressed just like him but with bandages over their faces, the look of many of his other performances, came out and surrounded him. 

I appreciate storytelling with music a lot and The Weeknd always manages to tell a story. That’s something I love most about the singer. 

The audience then jammed to “I Feel It Coming” as he went back to the main stage and a moon rose behind him with the background of a sparkly city night. More big fireworks appear as he sings “Save Your Tears” and “Earned It.” 

Longtime fans of the artist were happy to hear a throwback, “House of Balloons” sung by the singer at the show. At this point the choir has changed to be a group of performers playing string instruments in black sparkly outfits, adding a very pretty orchestral touch to the songs. 

Then the best part of the show comes, where all of The Weeknd look alikes cover the field in formation and he joins them marching on the field until the epic transition of “House of Balloons” to “Blinding Lights” happens, and everyone goes crazy. 

Regardless of the Grammy snub, “Blinding Lights” was one of the biggest songs of the year, and it never gets old seeing The Weeknd perform this hit. 

Many fans took to Twitter to share their opinions on the halftime show. There were mixed reviews overall, but many people weren’t impressed by The Weeknd’s performance. 

Was it as huge or theatrical as some halftime performances in the past? No, but considering the craziness of the pandemic and everything else I think The Weeknd killed this performance. 

This halftime show might have been the final push I needed to go see the singer when he comes to New Orleans next year on tour. If anyone knows how to put on a good show it’s The Weeknd.  

Watch The Weeknd's full Super Bowl LV halftime show here. 

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