I don’t really care for big sports games. But I do like celebrating the Super Bowl. I love the ‘let’s throw the diet out the window’ snacks, friends and family coming together to pretend to care about American football, the outrageous commericals…but mostly, the halftime show. Honestly, the halftime show is what gets me the most excited. It’s a spectacle of a well-known performer (or performers) putting on one of the biggest shows of their careers. It’s meant to be HUGE and a moment where everyone just stops to pay attention. Not to mention the fun memes that usually come from it.
When I saw that The Weeknd was gonna be the halftime performer for this year, it’s like a light shone through the darkness that was 2020. I saw The Weeknd in concert with one of my best friends back in 2017 and it BLEW MY MIND. I really enjoyed the Starboy album and I desperately wanted to hear the perfection that is “I Feel It Coming” live. I’m so excited that America (and hopefully the world via social media) is gonna get to experience The Weeknd live.
The Weeknd’s music is art in its purest form. Abel crafts music with intentionality, creating albums, tours, and performances with whole stories. But I love that it’s not out of reach. His gorgeous, emotional vocals and catchy melodies are like freshly cut jasmine flowers — you can’t help but stop in your tracks to listen and soak in it. He’s one of my favorite vocalists out there; his voice is angelic and soft and somehow still raw and larger than life. Also, I have to say it: The Weeknd’s music is the sexiest music I’ve ever heard. I will not hear any arguments that say otherwise, unless I haven’t heard the artist you’re proposing. But even then, I don’t think my opinion will change.
With the memory of the concert I went to in 2017 in mind, I have NO doubt that this Super Bowl LV performance is gonna be exciting. The Weeknd is not only a powerful singer and musicians but a PERFORMER and a SHOWMAN. Just for a taste, watch this pre-COVID times performance of Blinding Lights that absolutely tripped me out in the best way.
I don’t know about you, but I am SO PUMPED. Here’s some songs I absolutely love from him:
In Your Eyes – I have had a totally unwarranted hate towards saxophones for some time. It might or might not have to do with someone I dated lol. This song though…probably single handedly made me re-appreciate the power of a good saxophone solo. It’s so epic that Kenny G, saxophone extraordinaire, came out on a remix. Will Kenny G come out during the Super Bowl performance? Who knows, but this song is so good in all its remixes.
I Feel It Coming – I’m not gonna talk about what this song is actually about because I think it’s obvious lol. But it’s a tender and exciting love song that is equal parts sensual and catchy as hell. This song really made me fall in love with The Weeknd. I had loved jamming to Can’t Feel My Face and the songs that were released as singles before that but this one really pushed me over the edge with its vulnerable and pleading lyrics. It’s got the cheeky quality of when boybands sing about the same thing but it’s more unafraid to call it out. I just love listening to this one.
Secrets – The Weeknd has a deep appreciation for some good 80s production and references. This song interpolates Talking in Your Sleep by The Romantics and as a music nerd, I love that echo. The Weeknd adds a shimmery and almost disco-like quality to the classic story of infidelity in songwriting. I would have an absolute field day going through each track that makes up this song. It’s a *chef’s kiss* for me.
In the Night – The vivid storytelling in this song is accentuated by its catchy construction and emotional performance. Genius (the lyrics site) lays out a few inspirations including Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean; basically the song’s subject is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. The Weeknd is heavily inspired by MJ and this song is a classic example of his influence in all respects.
False Alarm – Ok, this one goes OFF. I remember the crowd being so HYPED to this song when I saw it in concert. I couldn’t remember the name of it for the longest time but when I did, I was ecstatic to listen again. Lyrically, this song is about how he needs to keep reminding himself that a woman he’s interested in is full of red flag. It’s 80s hard rock inspired; the chorus is almost Ramones-esque. If you ever want to go hard during a workout, I recommend this one.
Faith – This song was my favorite part of the After Hours story. It’s basically that moment when someone realizes they’ve gone too far while chasing a high. It’s a vulnerable song to listen to and the production makes it feel like you’re intimately watching someone go off the deep end. I totally recommend reading the Variety article where The Weeknd lays out his most recent album, After Hours, track-by-track. It’s a testament to his commitment of being an artist.
I’m just scratching the surface here on just what an exciting artist The Weeknd is. He’s not just a pretty voice; he’s got gorgeously gritty songs that contrast his angelic voice and a list of clear influences that make him an iconic artist. It’s The freakin’ Weeknd and maybe I’m gonna have me some fun with this Super Bowl LV Halftime Show.