Photo Gallery: The Weeknd at FedEx Field // 7.30.22
August 2, 2022 @ 11:00am
This past Saturday, July 30, R&B and pop “Starboy ” The Weeknd sold out the massive FedEx Field as a part of the first leg of his After Hours Til Dawn tour. Having released two albums over the past two years, this tour was long awaited, and the sense of excitement was undeniable as the crowd of nearly 80,000 filled the stadium as Mike Dean and Kaytranada set the stage for this charismatic headliner.
Mike Dean kicked the show off with trance-inspired beats. As one of the most iconic record producers of all time, Dean is known for his work with artists like Kanye West, Madonna, Drake, 2 Chainz, and of course, The Weeknd. As a master of synthesizers, Dean played instrumental songs that verged on an apocalyptic feel, most of which sounded like stripped down interpretations of “Dawn FM.” Both The Weeknd’s newest record and pop culture sensations like “Stranger Things” have brought the music of the 1980’s back into mainstream popularity and Dean sent synth sounds bumping through the open air stadium.
Dean was followed by Montreal’s emerging DJ sensation, Kaytranada. As an artist on the rise, Kaytranada canceled several big festival appearances to join the first leg of this tour. Following the success of his latest record, “BUBBA,” Kaytranada brings a spirit of joy to every collaboration and single. Much like Pharrell’s iconic four count, Kaytranada’s sound is undeniably unique, and his appearance opening the stage for The Weekend sent shockwaves of energy through the stadium as the crowd filed in. Even though it was just him on the stage with minimal visuals and lighting, he energetically danced his way through every single song.
After the sun set completely, the main stage began to glow with a spotlight on a wooden city replica and a large, red moon lowered at the end of the catwalk ahead of The Weeknd hitting the stage. As his set began, dancers completely covered in red, flowing fabric ascended onto the stage and Abel stepped out of the wooden city on the main stage in a long trench coat and a mask completely obscuring his face. After the theatrics of his opening song, “Alone Again,” The Weeknd brought an incredible energy from the first moment he began singing, coming out swinging with all of his chart-topping bangers to an eager crowd of ecstatic fans. While he began with songs like “Sacrifice” and “Take My Breath,” his set included songs from the entirety of his discography. Even the youngest fans in the crowd screamed every word to earlier songs like “Can’t Feel My Face,” and Trilogy standouts like “The Morning.”
The Weeknd’s charisma as a performer was undeniable, and keeping the energy matched at an electric level as each song seamlessly transitioned from one to the next. The set featured a lot of what audiences have come to expect from stadium shows, with perfectly timed pyrotechnics and glowing wristbands synced to crowd-favorites “I Feel it Coming” and the feel-good finale “Blinding Lights.” The Weeknd proved himself to be one of the heavyweights of modern pop music, commanding one of the largest stages of his career with the help of nearly 80,000 back-up singers.
Words by Meredith Wohl. Photos by Mike Kim.
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