A Memorable Super Bowl Weeknd


Caiden Lujin, Staff Writer

The 2021 Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime was headlined by Grammy Award-winning artist The Weeknd last Sunday, and reactions across social media have (shockingly) been mixed. Given the circumstances, being unable to perform in front of a large, non-social-distanced crowd, some argue that the concert exceeded expectations. Others, however, claim the $7 million project (out of The Weeknd’s own pockets!) was too short and confusing. 

The scene was set during halftime at Raymond James Stadiumas the eventual winners, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led the Chiefs 21-6After months and millions in the making, Abel Tesfaye was set for his biggest break yetthe Super Bowl. Infamous for his prosthetic bandage masks in prior performances, The Weeknd went maskless as dozens of masked background dancers followed his lead.  

Tesfaye opened with 2016-hit “Starboy”, followed by audio difficulties that made for the fake crowd noise to completely overpower the music, but this issue was fixed quickly as the 15-minute performance took a variety of twists anturns. Expectedly, this gave us our annual batch of Super Bowl memes, such as The Weeknd entering a box full of fluorescent light and, quite literally, blinding him by the lights. 

The act progressed into a crowd-pleasing finish on the field as The Weeknd transitioned into his 2020 and most popular hit, “Blinding Lights”. According to Tesfaye, the masked background dancers stood for different versions of himself, and represent his fame consuming him, as they all collapse at the end.