It becomes harder each year for an artist to top the previous performer at the Super Bowl and this year was more challenging with the pandemic. However, the show must go on – even if it’s a full stadium with over 50,000 people that didn’t adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines – which The Weeknd did superbly Sunday night … or did he?
The “Blinding Lights” singer was the sole performer throughout the halftime show — which only several Super Bowl performers have done — and left a notable questionable mark on the field and social media.
The halftime show began in the stands, then went inside to the most memorable and meme-ingful part of the spectacle and fashionably ended on the Buccaneers’ field.
While some fans raved about his electrifying performance and turned his “iconic” moments into trending memes, others thought it was mediocre and boring.
“He sings great but the performance was boring, nothing special,” said Grecia Gonzalez, a student at Florida International University.
Social media users took to all platforms to debate the performance, and it left a few feeling uneasy or uncomfortable about the artist’s choice of aesthetic.
“Okay, but is the Super Bowl half-time show going to be a total bummer? I like The Weeknd a lot, but his music is SAD,” tweeted @versonic. I don’t know why I’m even thinking about this. It just feels like an odd choice. Maybe I’m missing something.”
Critics claim that if you weren’t a Weeknd fan or didn’t know his songs, then you probably don’t remember too much of the viral production. Others say the performance was just another publicity stunt to gain more attention to his music rather than his “After Hours” character’s storyline he was trying to portray throughout the show.
“It just felt like a continuance of his publicity stunt,” said Alexys Sutton, a student at Florida A&M University.
Several commented on how this aesthetic was disturbing and spooky-like with a large glowing-eyed choir with glowing eyes and bandaged dancers, even though this was a part of his storyline. Although many thought it was innovatively smart to have the background dancers with bandaged face coverings to act as a mask due to COVID-19, people still found it odd.
“I would still like to know what the deal was with the masks that his dancers were wearing?!?!? So odd,” tweeted @TouchedArtist.