Review: Not quite the Weeknd expected

The halftime show didn’t meet half the expectations


Photo Jennifer Le

Illustration depicting the Weeknd performing at the Raymond James Stadium during the Halftime Show.

Juno Le, Online Managing Editor

The camera pans down to a hanging figure and the Weeknd appears on stage in a golden light and fog from behind a set of doors. Then, the beginning of “Starboy” starts to play and the show begins and I  hear fireworks from the stadium from my house.

As a fan of the Weeknd, I had exceedingly high expectations for the show. Instead, my immediate thought when it ended wasis that it? Of course, the show wouldn’t have been at its full potential considering the precautions that had to be taken in order to have a safe night. Yet it was still disappointing.

The set was cute, but not exactly Super Bowl quality; think big moving sets (like Katy Perry’s larger-than-life robot-tiger) and jaw-dropping twists (Lady Gaga jumping off a roof). It’s the biggest show of the year and you’d expect something dramatic and extravagant. The Vegas theme at the beginning was cool, but the rest just didn’t stick. This felt more like taking his music videos from After Hours and trying to make some sort of stage out of it.

After rewatching it a few more times, his choice in lineups wasn’t bad, but this was because he sang his most popular songs. Adding on to the disappointment, I wish I could’ve heard “The Hills” better, but technical difficulties got in the way. But he pulled through, and sounded great despite the lagging audio and projected gorgeously in his performance.

There was so much wasted potential it was very disappointing since I expected a lot from the Weeknd, something shocking and like his fake plastic surgery stunt to hype up After Hours, since he’s had had great shows before. If his upcoming world tour is going to be good, it needs to better than his Halftime Show. For future reference, either go big or go home.