(Updated with video of The Weeknd’s Super Bowl halftime efficiency) Roaring out of a Super Bowl LV first half at present that noticed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterback Tom Brady battering favorites the Kansas City Chiefs 21-6, The Weeknd’s halftime present had lots using on it for the NFL, CBS and an America trampled and exhausted by the continued coronavirus pandemic and a yr of political and social unrest.
One phrase: landing – as you’ll be able to see within the video above.
The gold commonplace of Super Bowl halftime exhibits is, after all, the enchanting efficiency by Prince again in 2007. Under scrutiny earlier this week and dealing with the most important viewers of his profession now or doubtless ever, The Weeknd made a calculated facet transfer and praised the late nice Purple One, He then mentioned that his favourite halftime present was Diana Ross and the present that the Motown celebrity placed on in 1996 at Arizona’s Sun Devil Stadium, helicopter enhanced exit and all.
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That oblique legacy confirmed tonight, as Canadian swooped in to take America’s nice sports activities spectacle up a notch or two on the primary Sunday of the second month of 2021.
Coming off the distinctly Latina dazzle that was Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s profitable halftime stint last year in Miami, the Jessie Collins, NFL, Jay-Z and Roc Nation produced and Hamish Hamilton directed shindig determined to blow your thoughts technically and with a ton of neon, if you happen to had been an fanatic of The Weekend’s decade of hits or not.
Before tonight’s efficiency, the singer born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye regarded sucker punched and set as much as fail or definitely pale compared to the whitebreadapalooza of Miley Cyrus’ pre-game Tailgate present (with friends Billy Idol and Joan Jett). A hovering rendition of “America the Beautiful” by H.E.R. and inaugural poet Amanda Gorman honoring pandemic frontline employees regarded like a bar too excessive for anybody in or out of the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame to leap.
So The Weeknd pivoted.
In entrance of a masked and socially distanced crowd of 25,000 residing and respiration followers, together with 7,500 vaccinated well being care employees, and 30,000 life measurement cut-outs at Tampa Bay’s 70,000 capability Raymond James Stadium, the 13-minute Pepsi sponsored present from the savvy singer tore via his biggest hits like a post-modern R&B legend within the making. Musically, beginning out with 2016’s “Starboy” after which 2015’s “The Hills” to “Can’t Feel My Face,” “I Feel It Coming”, “Save Your Tears” and extra, this was a lean mixtape in motion – which is strictly what you need out of an awesome halftime efficiency.
With not a visitor star in attendance, there was a Vegas cityscape, a shining robotic choir and fireworks galore.
Leaning into the instances we’re in, The Weeknd reportedly put $7 million of his personal cash on the desk to exceed expectations and introduce himself to an entire new fanbase. Part of the following success of that transfer was the up-close nature of the efficiency that performed much less to the followers within the stadium and extra to the tens of millions watching in numerous levels of Covid-19 lockdown throughout the nation and the world.
In that context, When The Weeknd went via a corridor of mirrors surrounded by facial bandaged dopplegangers dressed as his current Character persona, you felt within the second and in his face – which is one thing most of us have prevented this previous yr out of scientifically confirmed concern of contagion. The payoff and bigger cultural reduction was accomplished when singer then leapt out on to a stage that used a lot of the Ray Jay as his backdrop.
A head spinning segue later there was a fourth wall breaking discipline of round 100 dancing and rampaging Characters for The Weeknd’s 2011 tune “House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls,” earlier than ending the popular culture pastiche with 2020’s “Blinding Lights”
Welcome to America 2021.
Diana Ross ought to be proud. And the NFL and CBS ought to be thanking no matter gods they pray to that their guess paid off.
After the fiasco that was Maroon 5’s Super Bowl halftime present a few years back and the final time the sport was on CBS, the league determined if it was going to attempt to bait a youthful technology to tune in for America’s huge present, they wanted not less than some real cool issue.
A standards that The Weeknd was all the time going to satisfy to some self-conscious diploma even along with his express materials, cloy persona of detachment and Canadian beginning certificates. In phrases of different applicable residents of the Great White North, Drake clearly didn’t wish to play NFL’s sport – although the Best I Ever Had singer did present up in a State Farm advert at present. Bumping up the ask a number of many years, Neil Young would have been too unpredictable, and Bryan Adams …nicely, that’s basic and almost forgotten rock boarding on relic.
So, the multi-platinum The Weeknd it was- and fortunately so.