The Weeknd’s Amazing Super Bowl Performance Despite COVID-19 Restrictions


(Credit: The Star)

Shining eyes. A bright smile. An energetic voice that makes you grin and an explosive stage presence that commands your attention. 

Complete with a glittery red jacket, The Weeknd’s emergence from the shadows of the stage and his bandaged army quickly stole the show in the Super Bowl, offering the best halftime show he could despite the many COVID-19 restrictions in the stadium.

On Feb. 7, The Weeknd performed a 13-minute setlist with his most iconic songs, starting with “Call Out My Name” to his most recent release, “Blinding Lights.” His performance featured everything from slow and somber songs such as “The Hills” to upbeat and fun songs such as “I Can’t Feel My Face.”

He started the show in a car, wordlessly stepping out and walking around as a choir came into view, with a person ominously floating down to the beginning of “Call Out My Name.” The audience could already tell that they were in for a ride.

The Weeknd’s grand entrance onto the stage. The choir on the stands sings dramatically, building up excitement. (Credit: USA Today)

The Weeknd stepped out from the shadows, lights shining behind him. Starting with a calmer song, he sang “Starboy” before transitioning to “The Hills,” a darker song. 

However, as soon as the beat shifted to “I Can’t Feel My Face,” he closed in on the camera, holding it shakily and making direct eye contact in a golden room as masked dancers bumped into each other. Others may have seen it as messy, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, The Weeknd was also focused on keeping the audience at home engaged.

His performance continued smoothly, breezing through “I Feel it Coming,” “Save Your Tears” and “Earned It.” Nothing stellar here, but The Weeknd was clearly having fun, and that was what kept my attention for a majority of the performance. 

However, his performance kicked off in the last 4 minutes, with his masked army now dawning the same outfit as The Weeknd and marching to “House of Balloons,” building excitement as the tempo sped up. Now—arguably one of the most exciting moments of the performance—the song flawlessly transitioned into the addicting instrumental motif of “Blinding Lights” as The Weeknd and his masked army danced without a care in the world.

The Weeknd and his bandaged army dancing on the field. His backup dancers wear lights on their gloves to make the performance even flashier. (Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

He ended his performance on a high note, looking up at the sky with a triumphant smile on his face. By that time, I was smiling too, pleased that I had stayed until the end. While his performance certainly could have been much grander and more dramatic, The Weeknd did an outstanding job considering the less-than-ideal circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most importantly, you could tell he was having fun with spot-on vocals and dancing that exuded unmatched energy and charm. And really, that’s all that I could ask for from a performer.