Reactions to The Weeknd’s Super Bowl Halftime show performance

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Keegan Honig

A student mimics one of the background dancers from The Weeknd’s performance.

Keegan Honig, Editor

The background dancers had wraps around their faces. (Courtesy Photo)

This year’s Super Bowl LV halftime show was memorable and unique in its own right. Abel Tesfaye, more commonly known as The Weeknd, performed some of his biggest hits in between the Chiefs and Buccaneers matchup.

Tesfaye performed “Starboy,” a major hit from 2016, “The Hills,” one of his most popular songs, and “I Can’t Feel My Face,” arguably his first big hit. He also sang parts of his songs “Earned It” and “House of Balloons” before finishing with likely the most famous song he’s come out with to-date called “Blinding Lights.” “Blinding Lights” went viral on TikTok in 2020, which contributed to Tesfaye’s growing popularity.

Logan Abell is an outspoken fan of The Weeknd, and he was ecstatic about this year’s halftime performance. He stated, “I think his halftime show was very personal to him, and I think the problem was that older generations of people didn’t understand the message that he was trying to bring across with the costumes and the song choice…With the bandaged-faced dancers, he was saying how Hollywood forces celebrities to change how they are to fit in and please other people, which is why they had the plastic surgery bandages on.”

Many people were excited about this unique and highly-anticipated performance. Unlike other years, Tesfaye was the only artist to perform. Usually, multiple artists share the stage, but this year was exclusively Tesfaye. Additionally, the show produced cost a lot of money, but Tesfaye reportedly contributed $7 million of his own capital to assist in the production.

I personally enjoyed the show. I thought the production was well-done, and all the things going on in the background, such as the back-up dancing, were entertaining. I haven’t listened to The Weeknd very much, but I had heard most of the hits he sang at the halftime show prior to Sunday night because they were wildly popular. I enjoyed hearing Tesfaye perform the songs live, and I especially enjoyed what he did with “Blinding Lights.” He looked very comfortable performing on such a big stage, and he seemed in his element and ready for the moment. I’ve also heard that he sang the show truly live without lip-syncing, which is impressive and makes the performance feel more real.

Demetrius Alspaugh stated, “The Weeknd is one of my favorite artists, and while I didn’t get to watch the halftime show, I’m excited to see what kind of songs he showed. I heard that he sang some of my favorite songs, so I have to look into it.”