Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Weeknd plays the hits, briefly gets lost in a maze in a by-the-book Super Bowl Halftime show

The Weeknd
The Weeknd
Photo: Kevin C. Cox (Getty Images)

The Weeknd’s performance at the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show drew some controversy before it even happened, with him suggesting that there was a conspiracy afoot when he was totally snubbed by the Grammy nominations after the awards show tried to make him choose to between performing at the Super Bowl or performing at the Grammys (it was later determined that he could do both, though he decided not to do the Grammys anyway once the apparent snubbing happened). In the end, though, The Weeknd’s Halftime Show performance wasn’t really anything worth feuding over.

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That’s not to say it was bad, but it was pretty straightforward as far as these things go. There were no Left Sharks, no holographic versions of dead rockstars, no overt political statements. There weren’t even any special appearances from other artists, even though The Weeknd performed bits of “I Feel It Coming” and “Starboy,” two songs Daft Punk appears on. He could’ve just hired backup dancers to put Daft Punk helmets on and it would be cool, but he didn’t, and that’s fine.

What he did have, though, was a medley of hits, a big transforming stage, and a bunch of dancers wearing matching red jackets and face coverings. It all probably tied in with the ongoing narrative from The Weeknd’s recent music videos, but that’s a bit too much lore for a Super Bowl Halftime Show. Also, there was one part where he entered a doorway underneath his big cityscape set and got lost in a disorienting mirrored tunnel, which probably required some complicated choreography at least. You can see the whole thing for yourself in the embedded video up above.