The Weeknd’s Super Bowl Halftime Show Left Millions of Viewers in Awe
Known for his face being covered up in bandages or scratches in a red jacket, the pop success, The Weeknd, outdid his long-awaited Super Bowl Halftime performance. Dancing around to his many top hits, he performed to a mere 25,000 in the stands and an overwhelming 100,000,000+ viewers from the U.S. and around the world. And spending millions of dollars on one of the first (as well as most difficult to execute) stages presented to an audience since the coronavirus pandemic struck last year, he certainly had all the hype coming for him.
Kicking off the 14-minute long event, the admiringly beautiful cityscape set gleamed, dotted with the confusing feature of a helmet-wearing choir. The set then split in two for The Weeknd himself to come through, his song “Call out My Name” creating a bold introduction. Next came his 2016 hit “Starboy,” a collaboration with Daft Punk that’s been spinning heads for over four years. Sporting the iconic red sequin jacket (he later revealed that it weighed 40 lbs), the singer smiled through it all, posing, dancing, and shouting to the millions of already ecstatic fans.
Then “The Hills” played as he receded inside the cityscape set and into a golden mirrored hallway. Some of his bandaged backup dancers came in, and he sang his hit “I Can’t Feel My Face” while making viewers dizzy moving the camera around. The bright red commotion went on for a while longer until he got up on the top stands with an orchestra to sing “Earned It,” an esteemed part of the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, “I Feel it Coming,” “Save Your Tears,” and more.
Moonwalking to the field in the middle of one of his first songs “House of Balloons,” viewers could see what looks like almost hundreds of bandaged dancers all in sync. It had to be one of the most visually-appealing scenes for a Super Bowl ever. A smooth transition led on to the ending, his biggest hit, “Blinding Lights.” It was full of bright blue lights and blazing fireworks, thousands of fans screaming over him. His final move: looking up into the sky to embrace it all.
It may seem as if everything flowed together so well, but the process was rough. Considering the ongoing pandemic, The Weeknd was forced to comply with strict guidelines, including only being able to have a stage in the stand. His backup dancers had to wear masks, he couldn’t play around with fans, and there was a great lack of support from the audience with the stadium being at a third of total capacity. When asked about breaking the tradition of inviting guest performers, he simply replied with “there wasn’t any room to fit the narrative.” His plan took 7 million dollars to execute, and he truly pulled it off well. His 2021 Super Bowl Halftime Show will remain iconic for many years to come.