The Weeknd jumpstarts his Til Dawn tour in Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field.
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye’s hometown loss, Toronto, Canada, became Philly’s gain when the telecommunication and internet of Ontario province went down and The Weeknd had to cancel the date, and move the tour’s opening date to Philadelphia. Rehearsing, as he has, at the Lincoln Financial Field (where he’ll perform, tonight July 14) for over a week means that The Weeknd is well acquainted with the manner in which live music’s sound reverberates around the Philadelphia Eagles’ home turf, and gets what is necessary to contour that echo’s rough spots.
Then again, between his career-establishing “After Hours” and 2022’s moody “Dawn FM”, the mainstream avant-garde (is there a thing as such? There is now) R&B vocalist, composer and producer took the reins of the Super Bowl LV halftime show and made the 2021 football showcase a cinematic experience. And, like so much of The Weeknd’s best work, he did it on stage with no guest features (save for a choir with spooky glowing red eyes) and the light refracted from his crystals-embroidered, red Givenchy jacket.
From some of the images peeped online of the Linc stage, The Weeknd might be planning something of a towering skyline backdrop. But one more set to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis than, say, his Super Bowl Las Vegas in hell motif with its dancers in face bandages and the “Blinding Lights” neon.
Either way, with stoner uber-producer (lots of Ye) and electronic music icon Mike Dean and Kaytranada (filling in for an ailing Doja Cat) opening, and The Weeknd’s usual predilection for filmic eccentricity (to say nothing of being in possession of one of modern R&B’s most gorgeous, expressive voices), this night should be moodily magical.