The Weeknd’s After Hours Til Dawn LA Concert: Recap – Billboard


In October 2021, when I interviewed The Weeknd for his Billboard cover about “Blinding Lights” being the biggest #1 Billboard Hot 100 song of all time, we discussed how the After Hours Til Dawn Tour would cover his final two albums, 2020 after hours and 2022 Dawn FMwhile revisiting the rest of its catalog.



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“So you see my problems? These are big problems. This is the kind of trouble you want,” the superstar said confidently, almost as if he already knew his solution would be the thought-provoking, perfectly crafted pandemonium that arrived at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Friday night (September 2). ) for its first of two sold. – parties in Los Angeles.

The night begins with risky business and an exaggerated portrayal of Hollywood’s perks and perils – and that’s just part of the story. new trailer for The Weeknd’s upcoming HBO Max show The idol, featuring Lily-Rose Depp, who graces the stage in a puffy white turtleneck dress. “I had a difficult year. And there were times when I didn’t know I was going to make it. But then I thought of you and your grace. Tonight is incredibly special, as I have the opportunity to introduce you to the love of my life, the man who pulled me through the darkest hours and into the light,” she recites to the crowd in what appeared to be a filmed segment of the highly anticipated series before calling out The Weeknd by his character’s name. “Tedros, do you want to join us?” »

The dystopian skyline on stage suddenly lights up with a fiery red hue that matches several members of the opera house dressed head-to-toe in red veils, who slowly make their way to the front of the stage. It’s ironic how the faceless underground R&B figurehead who lurked on the internet in the early 2010s then appears in front of his 70,000 fans while wearing a mask. While performing the first complete songs of after hours and Dawn FM“Alone Again” and “Gasoline”, respectively, the singer known as Abel Tesfaye descends to then re-emerge from the depths of the dark city with the mic high above his head like the broken skyscrapers behind him, finally removing the mask and revealing his beautiful devilish smile which we have all inevitably cracked over time.

This tour is where The Weeknd’s low-key heyday of a decade ago and his current go-to superstar meet in the middle, where the deep cuts for “OG XO fans,” as he sometimes calls them , and chart-topping hits occupy the same space. This is where the career high point for the Canadian-Ethiopian entertainer – who already received the Super Bowl Halftime Show treatment in 2021 at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium and the Coachella headlining treatment earlier this year – dominating other massive stages nationwide, and soon, across the entire globe.

Viewers can feel the thunderous bass go down their throats as he sings “Kiss Land” from his 2013 debut studio album (with Japanese signs flashing on the fictional buildings on screen that represent how Japan and its music scene urban pop influenced his earlier work. ). The way he whistles “p—y” while singing “Or Nah,” his 2014 track with Ty Dolla $ign and Wiz Khalifa, pierces ears. With buzzing nostrils, pounding heart and trembling legs during his performance of 2015’s “Can’t Feel My Face” – which could arguably be the only body part that can remain intact during the show – The show Weeknd doubles as a live out of body show. He makes fans feel what he wants them to feel in every song, orchestrating their melancholy, their misery, their joy, their madness, their wonder.

Stage-stealing pyrotechnics during “The Hills,” mixed with the LA heatwave, make it feel like we’re all in hell rather than purgatory as the Dawn FM the scenario suggests. But each participant’s wristbands light up during the Daft Punk-assisted “I Feel It Coming” and dot the football stadium like stars in the sky alongside the colossal moon hanging from the edge of the stage. Maybe we’ve passed purgatory. Perhaps we are in heaven since we create the sky and contribute to its glowing magic. One thing is certain, though: The Weeknd is our (pop) North Star. Even when he comes across as that character unable to love or be loved in lyrics like “I don’t deserve someone who’s loyal to me” in “Is There Someone Else,” every viewer is unmistakably devoted to the man who mixes relatable desolation and provocative charm in his catalog.

As hip-hop/pop impresario Mike Dean pulls the strings behind the curtains with overly satisfying, smooth Coachella-style transitions between songs, The Weeknd waves his arms during his ferocious verse on the Grammy “Hurricane” (featuring Kanye West and Lil Baby) and guides the audience through the heartbreaking outro of “After Hours” as if he were running the show. Because he is. With “Blinding Lights” closing the show, The Weeknd returns to center stage, dazzling orange light beams and dazzling white bracelet lights showering him during his proud stride. He victoriously raises his fist in a move reminiscent of John Bender during the final scene of the classic 1985 coming-of-age film, The breakfast club. But Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” doesn’t need to be flagged to flag the epic finale. The Weeknd is the singer, director, creator, composer and star of his own film. And Hollywood hasn’t seen it all yet.

List of The Weeknd’s SoFi Stadium sets:

“Alone Again”



“How can I make you love me:

“I can’t feel my face”

“Take My Breath”


“The hills”


“Crew Love”

“Star Boy”


“Low Life”

“Or not”

“Land of Kisses”

“Party Monster”


“After Hours”

“Out of time”

“I feel it coming”

“Die for You”

“Is There Anyone Else”

“I was never there”

“Wicked Games”

“Call My Name”


“Save Your Tears”

“Less Than Zero”

“Blinding Lights”


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