The Weeknd Turns Night Into Dawn

“After Hours” of performing The Weeknd puts on a show to remember.


Courtesy of HBOMax

The Weeknd performing “Gasoline” in the spotlight during his concert on the tour “After Hours til Dawn.” After an incredible year of touring around North America, The Weeknd seeks for more and already established his newest tour dates as they are set and he will be performing global this coming year of 2023.

Makenzie Carpenter-Sais, Copy Editor

It’s been five years since Abel Tesfaye, also known as The Weeknd, last appeared on tour; since then, he has dropped two albums, headlined the Super Bowl LV Halftime Show and more. Due to health concerns regarding the pandemic in 2020, his tour “After Hours” was canceled. To give his latest albums a chance of spotlight, the long anticipation for a rescheduled tour comes to an end, suggesting those albums and more during “After Hours til Dawn.”

The show ran for more than 90 minutes, and he sang at least 29 songs; not only was the tour song heavy on the newer albums “After Hours” and “Dawn FM,” he highlights songs across his history, reaching back to the very beginning of his career. Since his tour last year in 2022, The Weeknd has been on the rise, and he has spoken once again during his latest concert special release, “The Weeknd Live At Sofi Stadium,” which allows fans the opportunity to experience his show up close, streaming now on HBO Max.

With the crowd chanting Abel Tesfaye’s name before even stepping on the stage, he finally serves the audience, rising from a building that’s apart of the set, while beginning the first line of “Alone Again.” He then follows the opener with other songs from the “Dawn FM” album such as “Gasoline,” “Sacrifice,” “How Do I Make You Love Me?,” and the “After Hours” album like, “After Hours,” “Faith,” “Heartless,” and more.

While his show covered lots of his newer songs, he continues to express his gratitude towards the city throughout the night and he fires up fans with instant recognition of his older and more popular songs like “Can’t Feel My Face,” “The Hills,” “Die For You,” “Kissland,” and more. The songs he performed couldn’t have been better, and not only did he make his newer fans happy, he brought back to life his older fans that have been on his journey since day one. The music blended together so well and carried the crowd on a wave of energy but also stirred through a string of slower songs, which builds to the highly anticipated finale as The Weeknd dazzles in his closing, making history with “Blinding Lights.”

With his sensual vocals, The Weeknd soaked up the love from his fans for hours. But it wasn’t just his voice that made the show excel. The Weeknd proved a suitably dramatic entry and set up. The set structure fit the tour really well, with the large, constructed post-apocalyptic buildings along with smoke, fire, flames, and lights. Not to mention, his background changed plenty of times based on the songs, it went from a beautiful sunset in the background to a burning inferno. Let’s not forget about the endless walkway that leads to a moon floating in the air above the set. This set was definitely a standout and was in sync with not only the music of The Weeknd, but it conveyed what the tour and albums are all about.

While The Weeknd emerges onto the stage, no one can help but notice the unsettling mask he was wearing, which he later removes. Along with his appearance in an all-black outfit with black gloves, a black vest and a black jacket. His appearance came off as expected, as it wasn’t overwhelming, it definitely added to the show. He also had faceless backup figures covered head to toe in flowing red cloaks, which they step out of the shadows one by one in a line across the stage as the show begins. The backup faceless individuals formed into many figures throughout the show and had plenty of movement making it a great asset.

It doesn’t stop there. “After Hours til Dawn” welcomed Denver last summer, it fulfilled everything the show does on HBO Max. The concert without a doubt was really good to see in person; the songs were the same, and The Weeknd’s vocals were amazing throughout the show, which set the tone and left fans with goosebumps. The set was even cooler in person, and the backup dancers were really cool to see live as well. The biggest difference between seeing the show live versus virtual is the closeup shots and action. While both shows were outstanding, it was super cool to see a closer point of view and perspective on HBO Max.

The overall performance was long awaited, and it exceeded the expectations that many had. The Weeknd’s setlist left no crumbs, and it was everything you’d want to see and more; the vivid set colors, backgrounds, designs, and backup dancers suit the theme of the tour super well, and they definitely represented the show. Watch “The Weeknd Live At Sofi Stadium” now on HBOMax! As The Weeknd delivered an unforgettable experience for all fans making a luminous mark with “After Hours til Dawn.”