Superbowl Halftime Show Review

Promotional image of The Weeknd for the 2021 Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Promotional image of The Weeknd for the 2021 Super Bowl Halftime Show.

On Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, the 55th annual Pepsi Superbowl Halftime Show was performed by Abel Tesfaye, also known as The Weeknd. Interestingly enough, the NFL did not provide the stage for The Weeknd, as the singer invested 7 million dollars of his own money into the show at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

I’m not one for sports, but when I saw the blazing and glittery red jacket the Weeknd sported, I was intrigued and wanted to watch the show. I also had no idea what to expect for the song list, theme and choreography for the performance.

The songs performed during the halftime show as listed below:

“The Hills”
“Can’t Feel My Face”
“I Feel It Coming”
“Save Your Tears”
“Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)”
“House of Balloons / Glass Table Girls”
“Blinding Lights”

The Weeknd kicked off his performance with a popular song of his, “Starboy.” I thought the entrance was rushed and slightly disorganized because the singer began singing in the middle of his song, rather than starting from the beginning. However, he managed to gain the attention of the crowd with an iconic sparkly red jacket.

Leading into the second song, “The Hills,” the singer had more time to incorporate background choreography and effects, including smoke and blinding lights, which I thought were pretty cool and satisfying to view. During the middle of the song, the singer went behind the stage, took a camera in one hand, mic in another and began singing “Can’t Feel My Face.” I’m not sure what the reasoning behind this was, but I found it entertaining to tie playfulness into the performance.

What happens next is one of my favorite parts: fireworks. The Weeknd came back out onto the stage and performed “I Feel It Coming.” With an intense 360 degree spin and a lead into the chorus, the fireworks riled up the audience, continuing the performance on a high note.

With songs from his new album “After Hours,” the next song on the list was “Save Your Tears.” The tune lit the lights of the stage with special background music and effects. This was my second favorite part of the performance, as the lights were visually appealing and added nice touches to this segment of the show. Cue the violins, a widely-known song of The Weeknd, “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey),” was next. It was hard to miss the shiny jackets of the violinists/background dancers of the show, which I thought was another smart touch as The Weeknd himself also sported a shiny jacket. With another dramatic and appealing ending, I can confidently say this was one of my personal favorite productions.

Including dancers with bandages on their faces, it was time for the next song in the list, “House of Balloons / Glass Table Girls.” This was one of the shortest segments of the show, elapsing only a minute. The timely formation and march of the dancers quickly transitioned into the finale of the show, with the song “Blinding Lights.” This part of the performance was engaging and eye-catching, however, I wished there were more lights down to see the dancers better because of how large the stadium was and how quick the movements were.

The performance ended with close-up shots of the singer and fireworks. I think having a tracklist featuring older and more known songs mixed with newer ones was a smart idea. However, I do feel though parts of the show were rushed and the timing could have been better. Nonetheless, it was an excellent performance.