It was all about The Weeknd in Vancouver on a Tuesday.
Toronto’s Abel Tesfaye, aka your boy The Weeknd, returned to Rogers Arena to kick off his North American leg of the Starboy: Legend of the Fall tour. Once again, a packed arena anticipated the Grammy Award winner, and the venue was buzzing with excitement just like his last appearance here for The Madness Fall Tour.
But it’s a new year. Abel has a new hair do, a new girl, a new album, and clearly a brand new tour setup. Aligning with his ‘Starboy’ theme, the arena’s centre resembled parts of a spaceship. The triangular pieces suspended above The Weeknd constantly lit up and moved, at times it felt like they were hanging just inches above the crowd.
And that crowd loved every moment of it.
There were lights, smoke, and laser lighting displays throughout the 90-minute show that took fans through The Weeknd’s musical career. Kicking off the set strong with his hit “Starboy,” Tesfaye’s energy had everyone bouncing right from the start. Joined by a full band, The Weeknd kept the energy going with “False Alarm,” before bringing out fellow Canadian, rapper Belly, to perform “Might Not” together.
Belly opened the show, along with rapper 6lack and Mississippi’s Rae Sremmurd, both of whom would also make appearances on stage with The Weeknd during his set.
Fans of Rae Sremmurd may have been confused when the duo didn’t play their hit track “Black Beatles” before exiting the stage earlier. It turns out, the song was saved for a performance with Tesfaye himself, who danced and sang along with the duo.
The challenge for The Weeknd was to find the balance between his R&B jams, and hit upbeat singles. His long catwalk stage allowed him to move around and keep his charisma, even through tracks like “Often” and “Angel.”
Slow jammin’ aside, this was The Weeknd’s first tour date in North America, so he was full of compliments for Vancouver. “Literally can’t hear myself cuz you guys are crazy,” he said at one point, as everyone screamed.
And all that screaming did not stop, as Tesfaye began to sing “Secret” before mashing it up with banger “Can’t Feel My Face.”
Of course, the show wouldn’t be complete without “I Feel it Coming,” which closed the set before a brief encore. The stage lit up in red, and that unmistakable first note hit, and everyone collectively sang,”Your man on the road, he doing promo.”
While songs like “High For This” have officially been left out of The Weeknd’s new setlist, “The Hills” was an appropriate ending for this Canadian who is redefining genres, taking over global charts, and selling out arenas worldwide.
Vancouver welcomed the Starboy: Legend of the Fall tour with open arms, and this Starboy proved he is not only Legend of the Fall, but he’s a Legend of Spring, Summer, and Winter too.
Photos by: Brandon Artis Photography.