Review: Despite ongoing pandemic, The Weeknd lights up Super Bowl LV

The Weeknd performed the halftime show for the Super Bowl LV. Correspondent Chandler Bentley describes his performance as "stunning" and "like no other." (Courtesy of Forbes)The Weeknd performed the halftime show for the Super Bowl LV. Correspondent Chandler Bentley describes his performance as "stunning" and "like no other." (Courtesy of Forbes)

Chandler Bentley, Correspondent

This past weekend, as most everybody knows, was Super Bowl LV, in which the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played for the highest title in professional football. Tampa Bay came out on top with a score of 31-9, defeating Kansas City, last year’s winner.

Some would say, however, that there were two winners Sunday night (no — Tom Brady doesn’t count separately).

Super Bowl LV’s halftime performer, The Weeknd, gave a stunning performance to a crowd of 25,000 people, with an additional 30,000 cardboard cut-outs. This halftime show was like no other… literally.

This year, due to the pandemic, we didn’t see the usual mob around the performance stage in the middle of the field. In fact, we didn’t see a crowd in the field at all (besides the army of masked performers about halfway through the show). 

This gave The Weeknd room to move around, and he did just that. He went all across the stadium throughout his performance — backstage, at the top of the stadium, on the field… the man was everywhere.

The Weeknd performed a variety of including “Starboy,” “Can’t Feel My Face” and “Blinding Lights.” This performance lasted about 14 minutes from his entrance to the end of the show. 

The performance was sure to include an array of ambiences throughout the show — from an ill-lit city landscape to a golden mirror maze. 

At the beginning of the show, the ensemble behind The Weeknd is in choir robes, and one member is even lowered from the top of the stadium at the very beginning of the performance. This accompanies the show’s starting song, “Starboy” and the following song, “The Hills.” 

This opening portion hyped up the crowd, and this hype would not die down until after the show.

The part of the show that really got the audience’s blood pumping was the same part that sparked the creation of memes all over the internet: the now infamous golden mirror maze scene. 

The Weeknd runs backstage after performing “The Hills” and grabs hold of a camera, leading the viewers through a golden mirror-walled hallway. As he spins, walks the hall and performs “Can’t Feel My Face,” we get some interesting close ups. 

These close ups are now making their rounds around the internet as the newest pop culture meme. But who couldn’t use more attention after performing for the most-watched event in the country?!

To close the show, The Weeknd and his ensemble provided an outstanding performance of “Blinding Lights.” What appears to be an army of masked performers (as mentioned earlier) takes up the field and performs an impressive number, using the lights on their gloves to enhance the choreographic performance. 

The Weeknd joins in and performs the incredibly energetic finale. As the sporadic performance comes to a close, you can hear a resounding ovation and firework show to top it off. 

This halftime show was an incredible one, especially considering the circumstances. It was an amazingly successful attempt on The Weeknd’s behalf and an unforgettable one for many, with some necessary credit going to the memes.

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