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The Weeknd's halftime show develops character

MON.| 03-08-21 | FEATURES

     One thing about Super Bowl LV that was very controversial, was the halftime show performed by The Weeknd. Super Bowl LV was probably the most unique Super Bowl in the books. With COVID-19, just about everything was different, for example, the number of fans in attendance and the restrictions on what could and couldn’t be done. It was a strange new version of this old tradition and a lot of viewers had mixed feelings about it.

     The Super Bowl is known for its halftime show. It is one of the only aspects of the event that everyone can enjoy. Whether the person is a big sports fan or is pretty indifferent about the game, they can all enjoy the great performance that is the Super Bowl halftime show.

     This year, the halftime show was performed by artist The Weeknd, who has been rising in popularity over the past few years. He is a solo act and has had many hits like “Blinding Lights,” “In Your Eyes,” and “Can’t Feel My Face.” 

weeknd jake drawing edited by lexi.png

Drawing by Jake Bradsher, text added by Lexi Karaivanova

     There were a lot of mixed opinions on the halftime show this year. Many people said the show was boring, disappointing, lacking action, while others thought it was one of the best. I thought it was good, especially considering the COVID-19 restrictions. Part of the appeal for some of The Weeknd’s more dedicated fans was the references to the “character” he’s been putting together over the years with his music career. It started out with him appearing at awards shows in early 2020 with fake blood and bruises on his face, making it look like he was beat up or hurt. After that, he appeared in public with his face wrapped up in bandages, which was also seen on his background dancers in the halftime show. Finally, in only just the past few months, The Weeknd started showing his true face in public. This whole transformation from injured to healthy and happy was representative of his journey with music and caught the interest of many fans.

     The Weeknd was a pretty unexpected choice for this year’s Super Bowl. Part of the uncertainty of this halftime show was that The Weeknd was still relatively unknown. He paled in comparison to some of the previous halftime show performers when it came to popularity like Beyonce, Justin Timberlake and Jennifer Lopez. He still accepted the challenge though, and made a pretty spectacular show. He incorporated the storyline he had been building up, had impressive displays and sang a lot of his most popular songs all while keeping the performance COVID-19 friendly. All of the background dancers wore N-95 masks and were lined up six feet apart. Even with these restrictions, The Weeknd managed to make an impressive and entertaining performance by having the dancers perform like a marching band with their routine and using the masks to his advantage by making them part of the face bandages that they wore.

     The Weeknd’s halftime show, while not being quite as flashy and theatrical as some of the previous halftime shows, still brought a lot to the table and did very well considering the limitations he had. People should stop to consider how difficult it must have been to organize the whole thing and appreciate it a bit more, and hopefully by next year’s Super Bowl the halftime show can rise back onto its throne as one of the best performances of the year.

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