REVIEW The Weeknd, Barclaycard Arena

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Canadian RnB singer Abel Tesfaye has gone from releasing mixtapes to selling out arenas across the country in a rather respectable amount of time.

Before the ‘Starboy’ had even landed on the stage of his sell-out show at Barclaycard Arena I got a chance to meet up with the area’s partner Firestone, who has become heavily involved in the world of music with a stage not only at Barclaycard, but also at Donnington Park’s Download Festival as well as several other music festivals across Europe.

Firestone’s unique partnership with Barclaycard has seen the tire brand sponsor a stage in the main concourse – a platform for Firestone to hold its annual Battle of the Bands competition, which allows up and coming artists to perform in front of eagerly awaiting crowds.

After the partnership between Barclaycard and Firestone began in 2015, the brand has gone on to install an exclusive Amplify hospitality seating with Firestone chairs that I got experience whilst The Weeknd took to the stage as part of his whistle-stop UK tour.

Starboy has been The Weeknd’s most successful album to date, earning him millions of adoring fans that swarmed into the Barclaycard Arena for his penultimate date on his Starboy: Legend of the Fall 2017 World Tour, which has included two sell-out dates at London’s O2 Arena.

Since releasing his spectacular debut album Beauty Behind the Madness in 2015, The Weeknd has gone on to build an empire of devoted fans with his chart-topping hits that have seen him multi-platinum selling artists alongside picking up a Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album.

The guy’s a talent that’s for sure; his whole set may as well have been a recording session for a mash-up of the greatest songs from Beauty Behind the Madness and Starboy – Tesfaye’s voice is simply faultless, oozing seduction and velvet tones it’s no wonder he’s won over the hearts of supermodel Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez, especially with sensual hits Earned It and his latest single I Feel it Coming, featuring French electric duo Daft Punk.

Sadly there weren’t any surprise guest appearances, last week The Weeknd left his audience at the O2 Arena in shock as he welcomed his previous mentor Drake to the stage, but no matter the show last night was still an absolute triumph as the Starboy himself effortlessly worked his way through tracks that had his crowd eating out the palm of his hand.

Alongside new tracks from Starboy hit singles The Hills, In the Night and Can’t Feel My Fave. Forever the charmer, he even adjusted the lyrics in Die for You and Nothing Without You to serenade the crowd.

There wasn’t an extreme stage production, but the clever use of lighting and multiple screens created a super futuristic space ship that hovered above him as he strolled his way up and down a runway.

The Weeknd knows exactly how to control his audience: minimal interaction, sheer gratitude and faultless vocals merge together in perfect harmony to create an incredible world tour that shows Tesfaye isn’t leaving the music scene anytime soon, this artist is going places, and from what I could see, the only way is up.



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