Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Concert Review: The Weeknd at Hard Rock Stadium

Headlining at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, The Weeknd performed a dazzling and intense show Saturday night. The Canadian singer-songwriter is on his 2022 After Hours Til Dawn tour, which features hits from both of his newest albums: After Hours (2020) and Dawn FM (2022). Joining him on tour as opening acts are record producers Mike Dean and Kaytranada.

The stage was set with a golden 3-D model of a ruined industrial cityscape, featuring skyscrapers, parking garages and pointed high-rises, all with noticeable decay. A long runway with a circular center and diamond-shaped ending extended out from the main stage. 

First to take the stage, Mike Dean gave a thunderous start to the night with bass-heavy beats and electric keyboard runs. Among the tunes and beats, he played his remix of The Weeknd’s Starboy. Surrounded by keyboards and synthesizers at center-stage, his loud riffs and rumbling bass were a riveting start to the show.


Next to the stage was Kaytranada, who performed on a raised platform while vividly colorful videos flashed behind him. He played Out of Time, a song off of the Dawn FM album for which he made the music. His upbeat electronic music welcomed the rest of the crowd as they piled in with concessions in hand.

As the sun went down and the stage was being set for The Weeknd, an inflatable, red-illuminated moon was blown up and lifted into the sky in front of the diamond stage. Phone flashlights lit up the entire venue and the crowd organized a few waves that whooshed around the stadium in anticipation of The Weeknd’s arrival. By the time he took the stage, the crowd was already in an ecstatic uproar.

The Weeknd appeared in spectacular fashion, standing atop some of the stage’s ruined buildings while red cloaked figures made their way across the stage and down the runway. Singing hits like Can’t Feel My Face and Often, he had the whole stadium screaming out his name and lyrics. The cloaked figures were present throughout and performed a dynamic choreography whilst flames, lasers, and spotlights lit up the stadium. The stage’s decaying cityscape lit up behind him, showing more buildings and setting the scene with storms and fire. Later in the night, spotlights centered in the sky created a prism over The Weeknd and the cloaked figures. He closed out the show with more hits, including Call Out My Name, Save Your Tears, and Blinding Lights.


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