Live Review: The Weeknd In London
On Sunday (25) several hundred members of the press and elated fans pressed against one another in the Notting Hill Supper Club, as we waited to see the Canadian singer who has been causing a stir in the music scene worldwide. The venue brimmed with chaotic energy as spectators anticipated what to expect at the highly-exclusive ‘secret’ gig. As we waited, the soft pink and purple lighting bouncing around the walls put me in The Zone for The Weeknd’s pending performance…
As the 22-year-old came on stage, it was evident that he was still in need of fully figuring out his stage presence; at times, the performances felt a little too personal, as if he was singing in an empty room and he couldn’t see the audience through the haze of his thought processes.
Although he appeared shy and quiet, Abel Tesfaye’s vocals cannot be faulted. As he belted out notes that went spectacularly high, they were powerfully clear and flawless, breaking his serene presence.
Given that the singer rarely performs, the intimate gig felt even more special, with the audience on their tip-toes the whole time, desperate not to miss a thing. As he performed tracks from ‘What You Need’, ‘The Zone’, ‘High For This’ and ‘The Morning’, girls were on the brink of falling over the V.I.P balcony to get closer to the magic coming from his mouth.
Other songs sang were ‘The Knowing’, ‘Rolling Stone’ and ‘Wicked Games’, which had the crowd going wild. The enigmatic artist also performed the track ‘Outside’; appropriate as Abel is certainly an artist who lives outside of the music industry box – which is a lucky thing for us and for the sake of the soul/r&b scene today.
As the man himself recently said: "I'm not trying to save r&b. It's only an influence on the genre I'm slowly trying to craft for myself."
The Weeknd's 'Trilogy' is out now.
Words: Maz Khan (@MazHalima)