Super Bowl Halftime Snooze?


Courtesy of Google Images

Following the Pepsi Halftime Show, questions arise as to the quality of The Weeknd’s show.

Robert Viray-Edwards, ENN Staff

Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, Shakira, and Jennifer Lopez are just a few names of A-list music acts who performed at the notorious Super Bowl Halftime Show. All of them have given stellar performances and had the internet buzzing about it for days on end. However, at the most recent Super Bowl, Super Bowl LV, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeating the Kansas City Chiefs wasn’t the only thing that sparked controversy that night.

From ‘Blinding Lights’ to ‘Save Your Tears,’ The Weeknd, legally known as Abel Tesfaye, has been one of the hottest music acts out, in recent memory. He has won Grammys, earned RIAA diamond certified singles, and recently had the opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl Halftime Show. The Halftime Show is recognized for its’ either amazing performances or not-so-well performances. And people are trying to depict which side of the spectrum The Weeknd’s performance dances on. For Junior, Kaitlyn Bennett, her initial reaction towards The Weeknd being announced at the Super Bowl was nothing short of surprising.

“At first, I was very skeptical about The Weeknd being announced for the Super Bowl. I knew it was going to start some chatter on social media because, typically, the Super Bowl has artists who have been around for some time and have an existing legacy, and The Weeknd is still fairly new. Also, he isn’t my favorite artist, but I still watched to see if the performance was good or not,” said Bennett.

In The Weeknd’s music videos and performances, he tells a story. As told by the Toronto Native in a 2021 Variety interview, “The significance of the entire head bandages is reflecting on the absurd culture of Hollywood celebrities and people manipulating themselves for superficial reasons to please and be validated,” said ‘Heartless’ singer. And in this recent Super Bowl performance, he continues the story onto the field. For Junior, Braulio Barajas, The Weeknd did an amazing job on being able to continue his storytelling onto the 100 yard field.

“The story The Weeknd is telling is very interesting and something that has people buzzing, even if you don’t keep up with his music. From the red suits, the bloody face and even the plastic surgery look- it had the world talking. Throughout his music videos, he follows a storyline that has not really been done before and he brought it to the Super Bowl and he did it amazingly,” said Barajas.

When it comes to the Super Bowl Halftime Show performances, the standard is high. The bar is high and the performers are in constant competition against their successors who performed at the previous halftime show. From Lady GaGa’s epic jump to Katy Perry’s sharks, the halftime show has sparked a lot of talk, each year. And the question is if Tesfaye lived up to the hype. For Senior, Eriel Fields, she believes that The Weeknd’s performance was just shy of her standards, but understands the difficulties presented due to Covid-19.

“Due to the pandemic, he couldn’t do much but I think he did pretty good for what he could have. However, he did not meet my standards because some of the songs weren’t hype enough for me. For example, the Beyoncé and Bruno Mars halftime shows are way above my standards because they played all of their classics which is very entertaining,” said Fields.

Love it or hate it, The Weeknd’s performance did what it was supposed to do- start a conversation. Whether it was considerably good or bad in your books, you can’t deny that it stood a chance against the Kansas City Chiefs, who had the most talked about performance that night.