Halftime Show Ft. THE WEEKND


Ashley Dang

Every year, millions of people look forward to the Super Bowl, particularly the halftime show. This year, the Weeknd performed his biggest hits and did not disappoint! Considering the Covid-19 situation, the Weeknd went above and beyond to ensure that his performance was spectacular.

Samhitha Katuru, Reporter

For decades, the halftime show has always been the pinnacle of the annual Super Bowl, with numerous entertainers coming together to perform. Last Sunday, contemporary artist and Canadian singer The Weeknd joined a group of lucky performers to play at the annual championship game. Unlike previous performances, the LV Super Bowl Halftime show only featured a single artist, not a duo as per norm. Last year, for instance, both Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performed their hit songs.  

Despite the solo performance and responsibility, The Weeknd killed it. Fans were amazed by the visual effects and praised the artist on Twitter for a phenomenal show. His playlist or music for the show included top songs from the past decade, which is certainly a nostalgic throwback for the generation. The playlist, audio, symbolism, effects, and execution were spot-on.  

In an almost secret-like fashion, the Weeknd managed to make his show somewhat of a contradiction in comparison to past performances. The spotty lights, moving camera, ghost-like chorus, and bandaged back-up dancers gave off such an innate, put-off vibe that came together perfectly. The stadium itself was like a neon city landscape, with artificial light flowing in from discreet places. The solo dancing made the performance seem narrative and lonely. The contemporary, hushed tone of “Earned it” transitioned into a perfect rendition of “The Hills” and “I Can’t Feel my Face”.  The idyllic mashups meshed perfectly with the atmosphere. His hit song “Blinding Lights” took the cake, however. The song that topped Hot 100 in 2019 was one of the best moments of the show. When it played, the audience went wild and it was easy to get lost in the rhythm.

The New York Times called it “a sterling song that evokes both an idyllic future and triggers aural sense memories of mega-pop’s glory years.”

However, the responses for the performance were ambivalent. Many of the viewers thoroughly enjoyed the show, stating that it matched the singer’s vibe and music completely. The solemn yet eccentric mixtape was exactly the performance fans expected, and some believed that the lack of extravagance fit the mood needed after 2020. But some found the show to be lacking. They believed that the extravagance and choreography of performances from previous years made this year’s show mellow and bereft. They claimed it was more of a concert instead of a halftime performance known for dramatics. People believed it was a mere light show, ending with a decent fireworks display. 

 Nevertheless, most agree that the halftime show put a smile on their face that lasted throughout the entire performance. On a positive note as well, this show held no controversies. Unlike last year’s duo, the Weeknd faced no claims of content issues; he kept it PG. There were no issues about radicalism like with Coldplay and Beyoncé in 2016. Simple or not, it remains a fact that the Weeknd’s performance was definitely a showstopper through the music and simplicity, despite having no obvious flashy moments of complex choreography.

Besides, the Weeknd is certainly proud to have performed live in Tampa, Florida. 

“Still buzzing from last night. I couldn’t stop smiling the whole performance. Thank you  @pepsi, @NFL, and @RocNation for believing in me to bring a fresh new take on the halftime show. XO we did it!”, exclaims the Weeknd on Twitter.

Halftime Setlist:

  •   Call Out My Name (played as intro)
  •   Starboy
  •   The Hills
  •   Can’t Feel My Face
  •   I Feel It Coming ft Daft Punk
  •   Save Your Tears
  •   Earned It
  •   House of Balloons
  •   Blinding Lights

To view the halftime show, visit any streaming platform like YouTube, or click on this link here.