A Review of the Weeknd at Terminal 5 in NYC
For the first show at Terminal 5, he started promptly around 10:30 p.m. and immediately got the crowd hyped (and horny?). He was wearing a black down jacket the whole time, which couldn’t have been very comfortable. Hopefully that wasn’t a gesture of his illness, but it was a tad bit distracting.
He began with songs from his first album House of Balloons like “Wicked Games” and “Loft Music,” before continuing to songs from Thursday and Echoes of Silence. My favorites, which seemed to be the crowd’s favorites, too, were “The Morning,” “The Birds (Part One),” “Crew Love,” and “Remember You.” He sang with an intensity and passion that was extremely contagious, as evidenced by the fans that couldn’t have been any more adoring. Many of them waited for him after the show.
The point is that no matter what you’ve heard, The Weeknd is really, really good live. He seemed desperate to put on the best show possible, but it’s almost like he didn’t have to. His songs are so well-written and well-produced that I imagine even minimal effort would have satisfied the crowd. For an artist that has previously been so mysterious and unavailable, his live effort felt too good to be real. Which brings me to the heart of his unprecedented talent, and what it means in the context of his new record deal with Universal Republic and the re-release of his three albums via The Trilogy…
Ultimately, the show was a performance articulating the note he wrote his fans earlier this month, admitting his decision to enter the mainstream but retain his artistic integrity. In the letter, he compares us fans to “the girl holding on.” His desire to assure us that we “will continue to get what we fell in love with” is important, and perhaps it motivates him to go the extra mile on stage.
Regardless, he came to New York City, a place more discerning and critical of art than anywhere else, and he seduced everyone in the room. Anyone who was there will tell you the same.