The Weeknd @ First Direct Arena, 14/3/17

After watching many Snapchat and Instagram stories of his UK tour, I had very high expectation seeing all this euphoria in the arenas. During his two-hour set, Abel Tesfaye, a.k.a. The Weeknd, spoilt us with all his biggest hits from ‘Often’ to his feature with Daft Punk ‘I Feel It Coming’. I find it difficult to realise that about seven years ago he was just an unknown artist releasing mixtapes in Toronto.

The Canadian-born singer made a memorable entrance suddenly appearing out of a trapdoor on stage, underneath an enormous moving musical re-imagined spaceship, with a very enthusiastic audience. The lights matching the theme of his latest album, Starboy, immediately establishing the mood, an irresistible sensuality between Tesfaye and the charmed audience.

Accompanying the star, his band never make the act feel isolated, even through his ‘Lonely Boy’ lyrics which are about living in between sex and drugs. Although the three accompanying musicians played approximately 30 feet behind, Tesfaye doesn’t leave them apart. Constantly thanking his bandmates after each impressive solos performed, a deep connection is present and the chemistry between them is strong.

With the odd shaped structure descending towards the stage, the venue turns into a disco with ‘Can’t Feel My Face’. But while the crowd becomes a mad dance floor during this well known hit, we could wonder if many of the audience members have been fans since his debut. I was surprised by the amount of songs sang by heart from the audience, even the older ones, creating this feeling that the public has always supported him.

His silky smooth angelic voice clearly influenced by Michael Jackson, and his sexy falsetto made my Tuesday evening feel like the greatest Weeknd ever. I am easily giving this incredible concert 5 motherf*cking stars, boy.

Sarah Ashford-Brown

(Image: Billboard)

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