The Weeknd: Apple Music Festival
Abel Tesfaye- aka The Weeknd- brought his soulful voice and trademark question mark of a hairstyle to London's Roundhouse last night, bringing the Apple Music Festival to its halfway point. This electronic heavy night showcased was the festival’s showcase of R&B. Introducing acts Grace Mitchell and Justine Skye too fall the electronic yet vocally strong style that The Weeknd takes.
The Weeknd performed songs from his new album "Beauty Behind the Madness," including 'Prisoner,' and 'Tell Your Friends.' Taking the audience by happy surprise, he also performed a cover of Beyoncé's ‘Drunk In Love’- which was an amazingly exciting moment of the night. This then with the audience’s rhythmic hand claps very smoothly ran into his song 'Love Me Harder' with Ariana Grande- Grande's part ambiently played through the PA. The Weeknd performed a chunk in the middle of all his collaborations, including Grande’s, 'Or Nah,' and 'Crew Love,' with Drake. This song was particularly thrilling, switching from a calm, soft sound to an occasional few seconds of heavy drums and frantic electronic sounds. As expected, the whole venue sang along and jumped insanely when he performed his classic 'Can't Feel My Face,' the bass line coming strong with this song, as always!
The production of his whole performance was really subtle and simple, which was great as it gave the audience a chance to focus on The Weeknd and him alone- unlike usual, no dancers, props, or fire, and even the band was propped up a bit out of sight. There was just some smoke, and lights… ALOT! I've never seen a concert which has more different coloured lights within one hour- purple, red, green, all shades of blue! The majority of his performance was just a straight run of songs, and not much 'talking' to the fans- but this made for a really enjoyable night as we had the chance to just observe his music in the most intimate chance you'll get to see The Weeknd now.
The Weeknd cut his song 'The Hills' part way through, because he "did not come to London for a seated audience" - and sure enough had everyone up on their feet the second time he performed the song! The Weeknd then had the audience chanting "We want more" for a good few minutes until he returned on stage, to perform his songs 'High for This.'
At the end, he really wanted to take advantage of the opportunity of performing in this intimate venue of 2000 to really connect with his fans, turning the Roundhouse pitch black turning all the house lights off, and asking the audience to light up the room with their lighters and phones-then being the only source of light in the room, creating for a very special performance of 'Wicked Games.'
The Weeknd really brought an incredibly unique performance amongst the Apple Music Festival to The Roundhouse. Check back here every day for an update on the Apple Music Festival for the next five days, until we reach the end of the Festival. The festival has so far seen headliners including Ellie Goulding and Take That, and still to come are the likes of Pharrell Williams, Mumford and Sons, Florence and The Machine!