Philadelphia – If The Weeknd’s “Dawn FM” album is the equivalent of a dance party in purgatory, his live show is nothing short of a pre-apocalyptic delirium.
The passionate singer-songwriter finally hit launch with his After Hours Til Dawn tour Thursday at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Stadium. Not only has the launch been a victim of COVID-19 delays over the past two years, but it has also witnessed Delayed initial launch date Last weekend in the performers’ hometown of Toronto when a nationwide internet outage hampered venue operations.
This pent-up passion for performance surfaced the moment The Weeknd, who was wearing a plastic face mask, rose from one of the models of burning buildings erected as part of a skyline onto the main stage for “Alone Again,” from his massive 2020 album “After Hours.” .
From there, there was a flurry of chaotic lighting, drops of tempo, and The Weeknd cheered the sold-out crowd at over 45,000 like an enthusiastic Peloton coach as he poured his impressive top set over the Three tracks “Dawn FM” – “Petrol”, “Sacrifice” and “How can I make you love me?”
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Although no orchestra was present (or at least seen), the music went off smoothly and crisply as native-born Abel Tesfaye hopped between the front stage and the amphitheater that ran the length of the stadium, often surrounded by mysterious dancers in full shrouds. .
At 32, The Weeknd has already released record-breaking versions – in January, “Dawn FM” charted 24 songs on Billboard’s Global 200 chart – topped the Super Bowl halftime show, boycotted the Grammy Awards and is now filming An ambitious extension of the mostly thriving stadium scene.
The creative setup includes field seating partially facing the amphitheater rather than the main stage, giving the show an overall ambiance (a giant inflatable floor hangs at the other end of the stadium for reasons only The Weeknd can answer). Two small video screens connected to light towers faced those in the lower areas, but with only the primary screen used for aesthetics, more than half the pitch was prevented from capturing any close-ups of the singer.
But no one can refute The Weeknd’s unrelenting energy, his curated catalog range for the set list or his cool looks (after about six songs, he stripped off a black coat that should have been so hot in Philly’s summer humidity, but kept his black gloves that Fits in with the rest of his collection).
His catchy mix of new wave and pop with hip-hop and soul beats was sometimes mixed with dramatic extras, such as the church organ that performed “Hurricane” with Ye.
And while the exceptional lighting — which muted the shadows of teal during “Kiss Land” and “Party Monster” that followed — carried the visual aspects of the concert, The Weeknd threw some rock decorations with giant puffs of Pyro blasting along the stage and adding to the collapse of the horizon. Through the “hills”. A display of plastic bracelets handed out to concertgoers upon their arrival faithfully flashed while skating “I Feel It Coming,” which also included a cameo from DJ Jim Carrey’s smooth-groove voice from the “Dawn FM” album.
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The Weeknd’s top hits—”Can’t Feel My Face,” “Starboy,” and, towards the end of the 100-minute show, “Blinding Lights”—caused small revolts in the crowd as they shouted familiar choruses. But all night long, his fans, especially the young people who pack the place, sing the words of love, lust and nostalgia with gusto, The Weeknd channel of expression.
With his excellent album “Dawn FM” still touted, The Weeknd naturally stoked the track chart with his current single “Out of Time” With DeBarge overtonesand heavenly “Less Than Zero” lists its spidery synth the perfect complement to the shimmering keyboards pushing “Save Your Tears” that preceded it.
Last fall, The Weeknd decided to shift his tour from arenas to stadiums because he had a vision he wanted to deliver on a grand scale. It was worth the wait.
Opening the show in place of Doja Cat, who announced in May that tonsil surgery would prevent her from joining the tour, were DJ/producers Mike Dean and Kaytranada (Swedish R&B singer Snoh Aalegra will join Dean on several dates in August).
The Dean stood behind a group of keyboards, playing soft instruments with pieces of electric guitar for 30 minutes as the audience poured in. At 7:30 p.m., Kaytranada bounces on stage to work on his DJ setup — a laptop and mixing board — and slowly raises the mood as he dances behind his table to the tunes of Rihanna and Janet Jackson’s songs, while also showing off his own tunes.
Both openings served more as an accompaniment than an artist to interact with – creating even greater anticipation for The Weeknd’s arrival.
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