The halftime of your life

How The Weeknd performed a fun, and exciting, halftime show.

Tyler Stacy

Being on a stage with 100 million people eagerly waiting for a grand performance is something that is experienced by few. This is what Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, better known as “The Weeknd,” faced. Despite this challenge, Tesfaye was more than prepared. He brought a show that was both dynamic and thought provoking.
There are three main things that made this show. The sets were the most interesting part of the show and gave it character. Transitions between one set and another were fluid. This made for a dynamic show and the feeling of not knowing what happens next. Another important piece in the puzzle is Tesfaye’s voice. This was never an issue, because Tesfaye has an absolutely beautiful voice.
When it comes to half time shows the sets can be everything, like Katy Perry’s iconic shooting star from Super Bowl XLIX. Tesfaye, in a similar fashion, started the show off in his recognizable car, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Restomod. Also used in this part of the show was an entire mini Vegas set. One of the interesting sets that was used was an entire choir on bleachers that were decorated like a city. Even more peculiar was an entire gold lighted mirror room. Altogether this gave the show it’s own feel, and brought more meaning to the songs.
As interesting as the sets themselves, the transitions between one set and another felt like the viewers themselves were going on a journey with Tesfaye. One moment that stood out from the rest is when the choir bleachers opened up, and Tesfaye ran into the gold lighted mirror room. The viewers got an up close look at Tesfaye singing the song “I Can’t Feel My Face.” During this transition, around the time the chorus was played, many masked men were running around in a scene of chaos. Tesfaye is helpless against these men that are pushing him around, and falling over, which truly adds to an artistic transition. This represents the common man being pushed around by things that are out of his control.
The most important part of the show is the music. Tesfaye delivers this perfectly, with an interesting tenor, and more often than not, a beautiful falsetto. Songs like “The Hills” show his power as a singer and hype up the crowd more than anything. The show ended with Tesfaye’s largest hit, “Blinding Lights,” which delivers a comfortable closing to an already stellar performance.
This show isn’t perfect though. The gold lighted mirror room was extremely confusing to just about everyone, and this doesn’t help with the chaos the masked men brought. Not to mention the required masks were oddly Purge-like, to say the least.
Although, even with the slight hiccups, none can take away from how good this show actually was. The most important pieces that a viewer might expect from a halftime show were there, and the sets brought everything to life. With the constant movement of the show, and Tesfaye’s beautiful voice, this show was extraordinary.