The Super Bowl Halftime show is the biggest stage on Earth for a musician, and the Weeknd made the most of his 12-odd minutes on Sunday night, delivering a tightly choreographed, technologically dazzling set that not only lived up to some of the most iconic performances of the past, it also touched on songs and images from all across his decade-long career — and he did it under strict pandemic restrictions, before a stadium that was approximately one-tenth full.
In the week leading up to the game, the Weeknd had said that his main stage would be located in the stands — although he would utilize the field as well — and that it would continue the cryptic bad-night-in-Las-Vegas storyline that has accompanied all of the videos and TV performances around his blockbuster latest album, “After Hours.” All of those things proved true (although the connection to the storyline was even more cryptic than ever), but references to previous albums were present as well. And although he appeared in videos and TV performances late last year with his head swathed in bandages or with exaggerated plastic surgery — a visual statement he explained exclusively to Variety last week — he looked natural and sported just a mustache and a light beard, along with a pair of square sunglasses that he soon discarded.
The performance centered around an enormous multi-level wall-like stage, designed as a neon-lit theatrical cityscape, assembled beneath the stadium’s giant video screen/scoreboard. It occupied an entire end of the stadium; according to his manager, the Weeknd spent some $7 million of his own money on the performance. The wall was lit up with signage and lights that recalled both the Las Vegas setting of many of the “After Hours” videos as well as the red-light-district-inspired stage set for the Weeknd’s tour behind his 2013 album “Kiss Land.”
The show opened with the Weeknd, dressed in a glittery version of his now-familiar “After Hours” red jacket and black pants, seated in a fake sports car at the top of the cityscape. As ominous choral music played, he got out and walked around the fake buildings, sitting down on a neon-lit platform as a huge, sinister-looking creature in a white robe with glowing red eyes was lowered from a point above him. It joined several dozen dancers, seated further down the cityscape, who were all wearing billowing white robes and helmets with red lights for eyes.
As his hit “Starboy” began, the two halves of the cityscape parted and the Weeknd emerged in a wash of bright lights while the dancers performed robotic moves to the song, looking like some kind of evil choir (and actually recalled the robots from the video for Herbie Hancock’s 1983 hit “Rockit”). As the music segued quickly into his 2013 hit “The Hills,” the Weeknd went back into the brightly lit hallway behind the wall, which was filled with illuminated words — “Feel,” “Good,” “Nothing,” “Alone,” “Hours” (nothing is random in the Weeknd’s world). He sang closely into the camera, which wobbled to create a disorienting effect. As the music segued quickly into his 2016 hit “I Can’t Feel My Face,” several dancers, wearing “After Hours” red suits and with their heads wrapped in bandages, appeared in the hallways as well, sometimes stumbling around in a disoriented fashion but also snapping to attention at times (the song, although from an earlier album, also created another layer of meaning for the bandages).
Suddenly, he was back on the main stage for his 2016 hit “I Feel It Coming,” and again singing directly into the camera as fireworks launched at the opposite end of the field.
In fact, that tactic was perhaps the most striking difference between the Weeknd’s Super Bowl performance and all the ones that came before: In the absence of an audience on the field, he simply sang to the television audience, creating a greater sense of intimacy than the stadium-sized halftime performance usually has.
As he sang, a giant backdrop appeared on the huge video screen at the top of the cityscape, depicting a nighttime sky complete with a fake moon. That segment of the performance continued with “Save Your Tears” — featuring an acoustic guitarist wearing a glittery mask — the first song he performed from “After Hours,” and then his earlier hit “Earned It.” The choir had doffed their white robes and were now wearing glittering jackets and miming playing violins.
During the brief interlude that segued into the final segment of the performance, dozens of millions of viewers were confronted with something that many wizening new wave fans would find almost impossible to imagine: hearing Siouxsie & the Banshees during the Super Bowl halftime performance. The Weeknd sampled the British postpunk group’s 1980 song “Happy House” for the song “High for This” on his debut mixtape, but here it was just an interlude leading into the finale, which of course was his 2019 smash, “Blinding Lights.”
The Weeknd was accompanied by more than a hundred dancers dressed as the head-bandaged character, who filled the entire field and moved in mechanized lock step. The Weeknd sang the song while walking down the center of the field, surrounded by the dancers, who were alternately marching or swirling in circles. He finished as a barrage of fireworks exploded in the sky above him, and walked slowly off the field as the dancers laid down.
Each year, even before the Super Bowl halftime performance is over, the court of public opinion begins ranking the show in the long pantheon of classic ones: Prince, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen and Lady Gaga — and, for some, the Weekend’s proclaimed favorite, Diana Ross — are usually part of those conversations. While it’s unfair to compare performances musically — opinions of an artist’s music are subjective, after all — it is fair to say that the Weeknd succeeded in staging what may have been the most technologically dazzling halftime performance in history, under what were undoubtedly the most challenging conditions.
The RockStar Virtual Concert- A Special Independence Day Event By Kuami Eugene
Ghana’s Independence day just got better as Charterhouse in collaboration with Lynx entertainment present Kuami Eugene Untamed. The VGMA artist of the Year is bringing to music lovers a virtual concert like no other dubbed The Rockstar Concert.
The concert will be accessible across many countries in the world via the internet and the Son of Africa will showcase to the world how versatile his music is and why he is the best in Ghana. Kuami Eugene will be giving out his best with back-to-back hits like ‘Angela’, ‘Wish Me Well’, ‘Walahi’, ‘Obiaatu’, ‘Confusion’, ‘Aku Shika’, ‘Turn Up’, ‘Open Gate’, amongst other songs.
This experience is set to make your independence a memorable one, one that would make you forget that COVID restrictions ever exist.
Make a date with Kuami Eugene and friends at The Rockstar Concert from the comfort of your homes, on the 6th of March. Stream the virtual concert on www.Charterhouse.Live at 8 pm sharp.
3Music And Joy Entertainment Present Women’s Brunch Show To Commemorate International Women’s Day
3Music and Joy Entertainment are set to commemorate the International Women’s day celebration with the annual 3Music Awards Women’s Brunch special show. Slated for March 8th, 2021, The 2021 edition of the special show will be broadcasted live on Joy fm, Joy Prime TV, DSTV’s Akwaaba Magic, and will also stream live globally on all 3Music Awards social media platforms from 8:00 PM.
Astute Ghanaian radio & television presenter, Naa Ashorkor, will return as the hostess of the 2021 edition of the event. She will lead a panel discussion on the topic “A Woman’s place is in leadership : How can Women emerge as strong leaders at the workplace and in industry”
Commenting on this year’s event, Co-Executive Producer, Whitney Boakye Mensah stated that “this year’s event seeks to shore up interest and consolidate the sustained efforts made over the years in the push for female empowerment within our creative space and beyond”
In 2020, Madam Theresa Ayoade, Hon. Dzifa Gomashie, Grace Omaboe, Daughters of Glorious Jesus, Tagoe Sisters, Akosua Agyapong, Mrs Tiwa of Yaw Sarpong and Asomafo fame were among some industrious women honoured at the first edition of 3Music Women’s Brunch. Playwright, Dramatist, Educationist, and Child Author, Efua Sutherland, was also honoured posthumously.
This year’s edition of the live special show, will award the Music Woman of the Year, the Emerging Woman of the Year, the Most Streamed Female Artiste of the Year, three (3) honorary awards to female arts icons as well as feature exciting performances from Yaa Yaa and Efe Grace, the Speciale will also feature appearances and video messages from prominent Ghanaian and African women.
A publication of a list of Top 30 Women in Music will precede the live special show on Joy Prime to shine the spotlight on Ghanaian women making a strong case for inclusion via their work as music makers, enablers and amplifiers of Ghanaian Music. The list will be released via the press and video highlights of the personalities on the list will be premiered on the special show.
Burna Boy To Perform At The 63rd Grammy Awards
The Recording Academy has announced details for the Premiere Ceremony ahead of the annual GRAMMY Awards telecast this month. Preceding the 2021 GRAMMY Awards show, the 63rd GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony will take place Sunday, March 14, at noon PT, and will be streamed live internationally via GRAMMY.com.
Host by current three-time GRAMMY nominee Jhené Aiko, the Premiere Ceremony will feature a number of performances by current GRAMMY nominees, including: Nigerian singer, songwriter and rapper Burna Boy, jazz band Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science, blues musician Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, classical pianist Igor Levit, Latin electropop musician Lido Pimienta, singer, songwriter and performance artist Poppy, and singer, songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright.
Kicking off the event will be a tribute performance celebrating the 50th anniversary of the classic Marvin Gaye track “Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)”. The special all-nominee ensemble performance will feature Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra, Thana Alexa, John Beasley, Camilo, Regina Carter, Alexandre Desplat, Bebel Gilberto, Lupita Infante, Sarah Jarosz, Mykal Kilgore, Ledisi, Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez, PJ Morton, Gregory Porter, Grace Potter, säje, Gustavo Santaolalla (Bajofondo), Anoushka Shankar, and Kamasi Washington.
Current nominees Bill Burr, Chika, Infante and former Recording Academy Chair Jimmy Jam will present the first GRAMMY Awards of the day. Branden Chapman and Bill Freimuth are the producers on behalf of the Recording Academy, Greg Fera is executive producer and Cheche Alara will serve as music producer and musical director.
Music fans will be given unprecedented digital access to GRAMMY Awards content with GRAMMY Live, which will stream internationally on GRAMMY.com and via Facebook Live, the exclusive streaming partner of GRAMMY Live. GRAMMY Live takes viewers behind the scenes with backstage experiences, pre-show interviews and post-show highlights from Music’s Biggest Night. GRAMMY Live will stream all day on Sunday, March 14, including during and after the GRAMMY Awards evening telecast. IBM, the Official AI & Cloud Partner of the Recording Academy, will host GRAMMY Live for the first time entirely on the IBM Cloud.
The 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards will be broadcast live following the Premiere Ceremony on CBS and Paramount+ from 8 p.m.–11:30 p.m. ET/5 p.m.–8:30 p.m. PT. For GRAMMY coverage, updates and breaking news, please visit the Recording Academy’s social networks on Facebook(opens in a new tab), Instagram(opens in a new tab) and Twitter(opens in a new tab).
Best Looks From The Nontraditional Virtual Golden Globe 2021 Red Carpet Fashion
The 78th Annual Golden Globes were anything but traditional. It was hosted by Tina Fey at New York City’s Rainbow Room and Amy Poehler at the Beverly Hilton, while nominees were encouraged to stay home.
Stars presented in person in front of a small audience of essential workers. Most nominees opted to glam up at home and post on their social media accounts. And then there was Jason Sudeikis, who accepted the award for “Ted Lasso” in a hoodie.
Seen here: Presenter Angela Bassett speaks onstage.
Cynthia Erivo stands out in a neon green dress.
Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis attends the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.
Honoree Jane Fonda accepts the Cecil B. DeMille Award onstage at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
Simone Ledward Boseman
Simone Ledward Boseman accepts the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture on behalf of her late husband Chadwick Boseman, who won for his role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
Tiffany Haddish announces “Soul” as the winner of the Best Picture-Animated award at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards.https://9b88b5604a82420ad9d933f5dfbe1652.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
Kenan Thompson speaks onstage at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
Salma Hayek speaks onstage at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
Anthony Anderson speaks onstage at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
Kate Hudson speaks during the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
Jackson Lee and Satchel Lee
Jackson Lee and Satchel Lee speak onstage at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Rainbow Room in New York.
Christian Slater speaks onstage at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Rainbow Room in New York.
Rosamund Pike accepts the Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical/Comedy award for “I Care A Lot” via video at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
Andra Day gets ready for the 2021 Golden Globe Awards. She won for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama, for her role in “The United States Vs. Billie Holliday.”
Leslie Odom Jr.
Leslie Odom, Jr. prepares for the 2021 Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles.
Sofia Carson attends the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.
Jared Leto speaks during the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards broadcast.
Kristen Wiig attends the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
Jason Sudeikis, winner of Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy for “Ted Lasso,” speaks during the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards broadcast.
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