The Weeknd joined Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, and Michael Jackson, becoming the latest artist to headline the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show on Sunday (Feb. 7). The Toronto superstar turned Tampa into Sin City for the 14-minute hit-filled extravaganza that kicked off in the stands at Raymond James Stadium, where the Kansas City Chiefs faced off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV.
As “Call Out My Name” echoed throughout the stadium, the stage parted before Abel Tesfaye emerged in his signature After Hours red blazer for a clean version of his 2016 smash “Starboy.” Backed by a choir dressed in white robes, he continued with “The Hills.”
The 30-year-old crooner then went backstage for “Can’t Feel My Face” as bandaged-faced dancers joined him in a glowing corridor as the camera spun circles around him. Fireworks lit up the night sky as The Weeknd powered through his Daft Punk-assisted hit “I Feel It Coming” and “Save Your Tears” before being joined by an orchestra for “Earned It.”
For the explosive finale, he brought the show to the field. An army of bandage and blazer-wearing dancers marched alongside The Weeknd as he closed out his Super Bowl spectacular with his No. 1 hit “Blinding Lights.”
Prior to the Super Bowl, The Weeknd revealed that he spent an additional $7 million of his own money on the blockbuster performance. He was also conscious of delivering a family-friendly show on the biggest stage in the world.
“I definitely want to be respectful to the viewers at home,” he told reports during a pre-game press conference. “I will still incorporate some of the storyline. It’s a very cohesive story I’ve been telling throughout this era and throughout this year. So the story will continue, but definitely we’ll keep it PG for the families. I’ll try my best.”
The show received rave reviews from his legions of fans and famous friends including Drake, who cheered on his fellow Canadian while watching at home. “Big moment for the city!!!!” Drizzy wrote on Instagram.
The Weeknd will bring his live show to an arena near you when his “After Hours Tour” kicks off next year. The 104-date global trek commences Jan. 14, 2022 in Vancouver and wraps Nov. 16, 2022 in London.