The Weeknd at SoFi Stadium

Abel Makkonen Tesfaye known as The Weeknd has become one the biggest global artists over the last decade. The Weeknd closed out his After Hours Til Dawn tour with two nights at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, CA Thanksgiving weekend (11/26 & 27) rescheduled from September 3rd, but also added a second show. It all started back in 2009 when The Weeknd was releasing music on YouTube anonymously followed by co-founding the record label XO in 2011 where he released three mixtapes. In 2012 at the age of 22 The Weeknd signed with Republic Records and the mixtapes were rereleased as Trilogy. The following year came the Weeknd’s debut album Kiss Land which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 (U.S.) By 2015 The Weeknd was a household name having won the Grammy for Best R&B Performance with “Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey which also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. The Weeknd’s sophomore album Beauty Behind the Madness hit number one and won the Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary  Album. The Weeknd made his debut Grammy Performance in 2016 and has won a total of four. The Weeknd performed again the following year with Daft Punk. Fast forward to last year The Weeknd gave the biggest performance one can do which is the Super Bowl HalfTime Show. Pre Covid-19 Pandemic, The Weeknd was scheduled for the Forum which would be postponed then rescheduled at SoFi stadium. Five months before his first SoFi show, the Weeknd was performing at Coachella, filling in for Kanye West who canceled two weeks before the scheduled performances. The Weeknd performed at SoFi September 2nd and canceled after just three songs the following night over vocal issues. Later that month, The Weeknd would perform two shows in his hometown of Toronto, Canada and two months later was finally able to finish the tour. 

I would consider The Weeknd today’s Michael Jackson between the hits, massive fan base, major productions, also The King Of Pop was a big influence on the Weeknd. Not too many artists can sell three multiple times at a football stadium. One thing that makes the Weeknd’s music really stand out among contemporary artists is the way each song tells a story and the mysteriousness. Just a week into the Pandemic, the Weeknd released After Hours which won an AMA, a Billboard Music Award, and two Juno Awards. On January 7th, The Weekend released Dawn FM including guest appearances from Lil Wayne and Tyler, the Creator, narration by Jim Carrey, and spoken word appearances from Quincy Jones and filmmaker Josh Safdie (Uncut Gems). Since the Weeknd wasn’t able to tour on After Hours for two years, this tour combined both albums. This was a show with no dancers, no band, and the giant screen was only used for visuals not live feed from all the cameras around the stadium. However, there were 20+ people onstage with the Weekend as well as some in the audience aisles covered in red and if you’re a Star Wars fan the first thing to come to mind is the emperor’s Royal Guards but no mask. The Weeknd had the large moon prop seen at Coachella at the end of the catwalk extending all the way from the main stage. For all the shows I’ve seen, I’ve never seen a catwalk extend across a whole venue or stadium other than U2 at the Forum which had screens around, and the Rolling Stones at SoFi, but didn’t go as far. Also most of the show was performed from the catwalk. The main stage was set with famous buildings across the U.S. with a dystopian look to them and the screen was mostly a city skyline. 

The show was full of hits from the beginning to present like “Wicked Games,” Kiss Land,” “Star Girl,” and the final song “Blinding Lights.” The Weeknd performed in a way that the people in the back could be close and could be seen from anywhere. Rather than feeling like you were in a football stadium with 70,000 people it felt like a night club and one big dance party for two hours.

The Weeknd has won over 10 ASCAP Pop Music Awards, 20 Billboard Music Awards, seven iHeart Radio Music Awards, more than 15 Juno Awards, and various other major awards.  Since his first headline tour in 2012, The Weeknd has had seven tours with the most recent being After Hours Til Dawn. The Weeknd also was a support act for Florence and the Machine (2012), Justin Timberlake (2013), and Drake (2014). 

  1. Alone Again
  2. Gasoline
  3. Sacrifice
  4. How Do I Make You Love Me?
  5. Can't Feel My Face
  6. Take My Breath
  7. Hurricane
  8. The Hills
  9. Often
  10. Crew Love
  11. Starboy
  12. Heartless
  13. Low Life
  14. Or Nah
  15. Kiss Land
  16. Party Monster
  17. Faith
  18. After Hours
  19. Out of Time
  20. I Feel It Coming
  21. Die for You
  22. Is There Someone Else?
  23. I Was Never There
  24. Wicked Games
  25. Call Out My Name
  26. The Morning
  27. Save Your Tears
  28. Less Than Zero
  29. Blinding Lights