By Johnny Papan
October 5, 2017
When the lights went black, a spaceship-like platform descended from the ceiling and hung over a bridge that was connected to the stage. Beams of light expelled from the structure and the Weeknd arose from the ground in a prophet-like stature. The crowd went wild as his church-like soulful voice bellowed, opening the set with his new album’s title track: “Starboy.”
“Vancouver is loud tonight,” the R&B star exclaimed after finishing the song, causing even more raucous. “I just had to come back again. I feel like I have to come here every year.” Aside from a few small blurbs with the audience, The Weeknd didn’t talk much and instead let the music speak for itself, keeping the audience grooving throughout the night almost seamlessly.
With his impressive backing band and, most notably, heavy-metal-esque pounding drummer, the Weeknd performed songs ranging from all points of his career thus far. Interestingly enough, he also performed a number of cover songs like “Low Life” by Future, “Crew Love” by Drake and “Unforgettable” by French Montana, the latter of which also joined him on stage a couple times throughout the night.
The Weeknd ended with a set of personal classics. First, he and his backing band masterfully blended “Secrets” with his award-nominated radio-hit cocaine anthem: “Can’t Feel My Face” which was then followed with the second of his Daft Punk collaborations: “I Feel It Coming.” The Weekend left the stage, but the lights remained dimmed.
Suddenly, music BLASTED, shocking many attendees in the audience as we were washed in red lighting. He returned onstage and the set was ended with “The Hills” from his 2015 album Beauty Behind the Madness.Rogers Arena, The Weeknd