Concert Review: The Weeknd

Show: The Weeknd
Date: 05.03.2012
Openers: *None*
Venue: Lincoln Hall
Location: Chicago

Mystery makes its way to the Chi-City.

What makes The Weeknd such a successful artist (so far) is the hype. Free music from a man who rarely gives interviews and leaves cryptic tweets for what seems like his only form of communication. It works though. Mysteriousness has created this hype and in turn, this new artist with barely any stage experience has been selling out shows everywhere. The question is, is the hype warranted, especially in a live context? The answer, maybe.. Of course, it wouldn’t be that easy.

The night started off with a mother fuckin’ hail storm. Yes, a hail storm. It was ridiculous and  Lincoln Hall’s got this awesome policy of no-tickets and will-call-only to get into shows, so everyone got nice and soaking wet waiting in line. The rain and the uncomfortable clothing after didn’t seem to deter anyone from being stoked for this show. The bar was packed with everyone grabbing as much alcohol as possible and waiting for The Weeknd to take the stage.

Cue “High For This” as Abel Tesfaye emerges onto the stage with a backing band. The crowd doesn’t miss a beat as everyone, and I mean EVERYONE is singing word for word all of his songs. The Weeknd sounds incredible, his voice is just simply perfect, but you can tell he’s nervous. As the show continues this appears to be his only downfall. I start to question whether a first time artist with not much live performance know-how is really worth the $30+ to get into the show. It’s never a good feeling to question this during a concert. I will forgive his slight awkwardness because all new artists have to learn and mature and that will only take time and experience. What I will not forgive is charging that much for lack of experience. Shows like this should only cost $15-$20 in my opinion.

I don’t know why I’m so critical of this show.. Maybe the overcharging, the mass amounts of hipsters, my shortness becoming a major factor to not being able to see, or what really mattered; The Weeknd needed to be able to OWN a live show. The concert was good, but it lacked showmanship. I have faith that this will only improve in time. Or at least I really hope so. The Weeknd showed vulnerableness, a trait we rarely see in this “mysterious” artist. Shall the mystery continue?

SETLIST
1. High For This
2. D.D.
3. The Birds Part 1
4. Rolling Stone
5. Gone
6. Crew Love
7. The Zone
8. The Party & The After Party
9. Montreal
10. The Knowing
11. Outside
12. Loft Music
13. The Morning
14. House of Balloons – Glass Table Girls
ENCORE
15. Wicked Games

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