The Weeknd has finally graced the Super Bowl stage — and it’s a stage like no other.
Music fans have been patiently awaiting the halftime show, which promised to be an extravagant affair after the Grammy-winner splashed $9 million of his own money to perfect the setting.
It comes after some were confused by the choice of performer given the star’s X-rated song lyrics.
In terms of aesthetics, his performance — which will last double the usual time span at 24 minutes and is intended to be more of a “cinematic experience” — certainly hasn’t disappointed so far.
Opening to an epic Vegas-style neon set, the star, draped over a sports car, stunned fans as the stage parted and he launched into megahit Star Boy.
It’s clear the singer spared no expense on special effects as fans were treated to a tantalising visual display including pyrotechnics and a spectacularly opulent all-gold moment.
Behind him, an ensemble of sequined violinists and dancers accompany him.
Super Bowl fans sparked super spreader fears early at today’s momentous event, pulling their face masks down to sing along with the pre-show entertainment.
The event, held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, saw before kick-off performances by Grammy-winning singer H. E. R, who sang America The Beautiful, as well as the national anthem performed by Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan.
Both performances saw passionate sports fans leap to their feet and momentarily ditch their masks, amid fears the event will be a source of mass coronavirus
Authorities and health experts have warned America’s COVID-19 crisis could be “twice as bad” as when it peaked after this weekend.
As the US rounds the corner of a “dark and deadly winter”, experts have warned of the tremendous risk posed by Super Bowl today and the widespread gatherings potentially held in its honour, urging Americans not to turn it into a super spreader event.
With more transmissible “mutant” variants of COVID-19 circulating, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, was blunt when asked on Good Morning America last week if people should hold parties to celebrate the game.
“I mean, watch the Super Bowl on TV, enjoy it. Have a party in your house with your family with the people who are there,” he said.
“But you don’t want parties with people that you haven’t had much contact with, you just don’t know if they’re infected. So as difficult as that is, at least this time around, just lay low and cool it.”
Meanwhile, fans have been eagerly awaiting a halftime performance by The Weeknd. Others, however, are still unimpressed with the choice, after last year’s incredible JLo and Shakira show.
We will be recapping the performance right here.