The weekend ended with a performance by The Weeknd for the Super Bowl LV halftime show for a Sunday night spectacle of music and dancing. The Weeknd performed some of his latest hits from the “After Hours” album along with some of his older popular hits.
— The Weeknd News (@NewsWeeknd) February 8, 2021
The unique performance broke some halftime show traditions but was also inspired by previous halftime performers that influenced The Weeknd’s music. The Weeknd performed the moonwalk that was influenced by Michael Jackson’s 1993 Super Bowl performance and was also inspired by Diana Ross.
Ross performed the Super Bowl XXX halftime show in 1996 in a glamourous manner and her elaborate helicopter exit while still singing. The Weeknd wishes he was able to have a glamourous exit but couldn’t afford it so he decided to incorporate the glam production style inspired by Ross.
— Chirath (@chirathk) February 8, 2021
The Weeknd first performed his 2016 hit song “Starboy” with a stage designed to replicate the Las Vegas strip and a dancing choir wearing Daft Punk helmets as a tribute to the collaborators of the song. Another unique aspect of the performance stage was the location in the stands of the arena for the first time in Super Bowl history.
The Super Bowl halftime show is traditionally performed on the field but the main stage was set up in the stands of the arena. The unique design of the Raymond James Stadium provided an opportunity to feature a stage in the stands rather than the field that can be observed by everyone in attendance.
— NFL (@NFL) February 8, 2021
The Weeknd also performed “The Hills” then transitioned into performing in a mirrored hallway similar to the “Blinding Lights” music video with several bandaged lookalikes wearing the same red blazers as The Weeknd. Along with playing the popular hits, The Weeknd performed “House of Balloons” from the first EP he released for free in 2011.
The Weeknd concluded his performance with his hit “Blinding Lights” with lookalike dancers taking over the football field. The unique performance might have not been traditional but it’s being deemed the biggest music performance of the year.