The Weeknd’s Super Bowl Halftime Show Review

Sarah Stukalin

The Super Bowl halftime show is one of the biggest moments in music. Once a year a musician steps onstage and delivers the performance of a lifetime: complete with theatricality, special effects, dancing, and sometimes a meme-worthy moment or two. While I am not the most avid fan of football, the halftime show is something I look forward to every year and being a Weeknd super fan, I looked forward to the halftime show as if it was the main event of the night.


I knew it was not going to top the spectacle that was JLo and Shakira’s halftime show, and I was right. But there is no doubt The Weeknd’s eerie and uncut style shined through his performance. 

The Weeknd made the performance his own, beginning the performance on a stage integrated into the stands, something never done before by a Super Bowl performer. He said, “Due to COVID and for the safety of the players and the workers we kind of built the stage within the stadium and we’re also using the field as well but we wanted to kind of do something that we’ve never done before.” 


Beginning with one of his standout tracks, “Call Out My Name,” the Weeknd took the stage alongside a gospel choir in a dramatic red sequin jacket and black gloves. As all halftime show performers of the past do, he took his audience through his most popular and upbeat tracks, moving from “Starboy” to “The Hills,” and then transitioning to “Can’t Feel My Face” inside a golden house of mirrors. It was certainly different, as viewers have never had quite as up close an angle as they did then, with the section receiving mixed reviews

Perhaps the greatest part of the show was the finale when The Weeknd and dozens of masked dancers took the field to dance it out to “Blinding Lights.” It felt like a party the entire country was invited to, and the Weeknd’s fun and carefree dance moves made me want to get up and join him.


While this halftime show received mixed reviews, I was pleased. The Weeknd did not rely on an excess amount of special effects or theatricality, but simply let his talent speak for itself. His dreamy high notes and stunning live vocals lent themselves to the performance, and in a pandemic ridden world, it was certainly an escape from the chaos. 


Watch The Weeknd’s halftime performance here!