(Update with a video of The Weeknd’s Super Bowl halftime performance) Coming out today from a Super Bowl LV first half that saw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterback Tom Brady beat Kansas City Chiefs favorites 21-6, the halftime show from The Weeknd had a lot to do for the NFL, CBS and an America trampled and exhausted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and a year of political and social unrest.
One word: touchdown – as you can see in the video above.
The gold standard of Super Bowl halftime shows is, of course, Prince’s charming performance in 2007. Under close scrutiny earlier this week and facing the biggest audiences of his career now or probably ever, The Weeknd made a calculated parallel move and praised the late great Purple One, He then said his favorite halftime show was Diana Ross and the show the Motown superstar hosted in 1996 at the Arizona’s Sun Devil Stadium, an enhanced helicopter ride and everything.
Sarah Thomas makes history as the first woman to officiate the Super Bowl
That indirect legacy showed itself tonight, as the Canadians rushed to take America’s great sports spectacle up a notch or two on the first Sunday of the second month of 2021.
Following the distinctly Latina glare that was Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s successful halftime stint last year in Miami, Jessie Collins, NFL, Jay-Z and Roc Nation produced and Hamish Hamilton directed shindig a decided to wow you technically and with a ton of neon. , whether you were a fan of The Weekend’s decade of success or not.
Ahead of tonight’s performance, singer born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye looked either smitten and ready to fail or certainly pale compared to the whitebreadapalooza from Miley Cyrus’ pre-game Tailgate show (with guests Billy Idol and Joan Jett). A soaring rendition of “America the Beautiful” by ELLE and inaugural poet Amanda Gorman honoring frontline workers in the pandemic sounded like a bar too high for anyone in or out of the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame to jump .
So The Weeknd pivoted.
In front of a masked and socially distant crowd of 25,000 living, breathing fans, including 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers, and 30,000 life-size cutouts at the 70,000-seat Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, the sponsored 13-minute show by Pepsi by savvy singer tore up his biggest hits as a post-modern R&B legend in the making. Musically, starting with “Starboy” in 2016, then “The Hills” in 2015 to “Can’t Feel My Face”, “I Feel It Coming”, “Save Your Tears” and more, it was a lean mixtape in action – which is exactly what you would expect from a great half-time performance.
In the absence of a guest star, there was a cityscape of Vegas, a brilliant robotic choir, and fireworks galore.
Looking back on our time, The Weeknd reportedly put $ 7 million of his own money on the table to exceed expectations and introduce himself to a whole new fan base. Part of the subsequent success of this move was the up-close nature of the performance which played less to the fans in the stadium and more to the millions watching at various stages of the Covid-19 lockdown across the country and the world .
Against this backdrop, When The Weeknd walked through a gallery of mirrors surrounded by extras dressed as his recent bandaged face The character’s personality you felt in the moment and on his face – something most of us have avoided this year. for scientifically proven fear of contagion. The wider cultural gain and relief was achieved when the singer then jumped onto a stage that used most of the Ray Jay’s as a backdrop.
A head-turning sequel later, there was a fourth wall-breaking field of about 100 dancing and rampaging characters for The Weeknd’s 2011 song “House of Balloons / Glass Table Girls,” before ending the pastiche. of Pop Culture with ‘Blinding Lights’ of 2020
Welcome to America 2021.
Diana Ross should be proud. And the NFL and CBS should thank the gods they pray to their bet paid off.
After the fiasco that was Maroon 5’s Super Bowl halftime show a few years ago and the last time the game was on CBS, the league decided if they were going to try to bait a younger generation to that she connects to the great American show, which they needed at least one real cool factor.
A criterion that The Weeknd would always meet to some degree of conscience, even with its explicit material, its detached character, and its Canadian birth certificate. As for other suitable citizens of the Great White North, Drake clearly didn’t want to play the game of the NFL – although the Best I Ever Had singer appeared in a State Farm commercial today. Jumping on demand for decades, Neil Young would have been too unpredictable, and Bryan Adams … well, it’s classic rock and almost forgotten on a relic.
So the multi-platinum The Weeknd it was – and luckily.