Wednesday evening, Canadian singer, songwriter and producer The Weeknd performed a second show at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels! Perhaps encouraged by the enthusiastic reactions to his two concerts in the Johan Cruijff Arena, it turned out that a number of Dutch people had also traveled to the Belgian capital. Miraculously, the concert was not completely sold out, but that did not spoil the fun in the least.
Upon arrival at the stadium, the impressive futuristic decor immediately caught the eye, with skyscrapers from cities such as New York and Toronto. Leading out from the stage was a bridge, on which stood a giant female robot that spun and lit up during the show. As icing on the cake, a floating moon hung at the end of the bridge.
The show started with a group of mysteriously dressed dancers in white, who performed a kind of worship game around the robot. After this intriguing intro, The Weeknd himself took the stage, wearing a silver mask that he took off only halfway through the show. What followed was a two-hour performance in which the Canadian stringed together more than thirty songs almost seamlessly, each one to a frenzied reception from the audience.
The show immediately started with the mega hit “Take My Breath”, after which the audience went crazy on the overwhelming “Sacrifice”. The infectious “Can’t Feel My Face” was also performed early in the set, largely sung from the footbridge. The song “The Hills” blasted through the stadium as flames shot up from the buildings on stage and the heat could be felt at the back of the field. The Weeknd also brought songs from his mixing era, such as “House of Balloons”, and of course his hit “Starboy” was not missing. At the end of the bridge was a small stage on which The Weeknd sang songs like “I Feel It Coming” and the most-streamed song of all time, “Blinding Lights,” to the delight of the crowd in the back stands.
With just three musicians, expertly arranged in the buildings, The Weeknd created a full and powerful sound that showcased his pop songs with heavy R&B influences and subtle new wave accents. The singer, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, used every square meter of the stage and was therefore visible and approachable to every spectator. As a singer, he held his own with his smooth, soulful head voice often reminiscent of Michael Jackson.
It was a pity that due to the time of day, the spectacular laser and light effects only came into their own later in the evening. But that was the only downside. The light bands that visitors received upon entry, a gimmick that Coldplay, among others, have been using for some time, also provided an extra effect during the concert. In the end it turned out to be a fantastically choreographed show with a steady pace and a high content of hits and sing-along moments, which kept the audience enchanted from start to finish. The Weeknd also turned out to be a pleasure for the eyes and ears during the week.