The WeekndLegend Of The Fall Tour Metro Radio Arena - Newcastle 11/03/2017
The Starboy himself descended on to Tyneside for a spectacular evening full of absolute pop smashes and dark sultry ballads that left the crowd in the palm of his hands.
Just five years ago I saw The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) play inside a small tent in Hyde Park, back then he had just released his three mixtape's that would eventually form Trilogy, later on that evening he would then join Drake onstage to perform ‘Crew Love’ and since then it feels like he’s never looked back. The past few years have seen his status rise and rise astronomically with every new release, some day one fans would say he’s sold out, deciding to turn his back on his more original and darker material to shift music to the masses but it in truth it actually feel’s like he’s just evolving and growing as an artist, tonight in Newcastle he proved just that.
A gigantic spaceship covers the 10,000 capacity arena, it really is hard to describe just how awesome this stage design is unless you actually see it in person, the ship is a mixture of screens, lights and steps, it truly is something to behold, The Weeknd promptly rises into the middle of the arena beneath it to deafening screams as he launches into opener ‘All I Know’.
What’s immediately apparent is that this set is 100% live, I feel that this needs highlighting and praising especially when major pop stars nowadays such as fellow Canadian Justin Bieber sometimes don’t even bother to try and hit a note, tonight this isn’t an issue at all, The Weeknd hit’s all those incredible high notes he is known for, he’s also backed by a full band which that after spending three years on the road with him have become a finely tuned machine, fully enhancing the live experience.
The Weeknd had the entire crowd in the palm of his hand throughout the night, multiple shouts of ‘Newcastle!’ would leave the audience loudly cheering their approval but most of the screaming came from the stellar setlist he brought along with him, second track ‘Party Monster’ sent everyone into a frenzy and as The Weeknd shouted ‘Jump!’ you wondered if the whole arena would end up taking off.
It’s fair to say you can’t have escaped the might of the ‘Starboy’ album last year and for good reason, the majority of the set leans on the album, with behemoths of tracks like ‘Reminder’, ‘Secrets’ (which had the whole crowd singing along) and even ‘Starboy' (which feels fresh again when heard live) itself all coming swift and fast in the first half. that’s not to say his older material gets missed out however, ‘High For This’ and ‘Glass Table Girls’ both feature during the night but unsurprisingly neither get the same crazed reaction as more recent singles.
I can't stress enough how he nailed the song selection throughout, managing to cater to all of his fanbase whether it be hip hop with ‘Six Feet Under’ and ‘Sidewalks’ or sultry ballads such as ‘Earned It’ and ‘Acquainted’, it was career spanning and the fact he managed to nail every song just solidify his arena status.
The evening would close out with a set of fantastic tracks, ’I Feel It Coming’ (which is easily the best song to be released in 2016) set everyone off in mass singalong to the MJ inspired super-hit, ‘False Alarm’ practically turned the arena into a mosh pit with everyone shouting and wildly leaping around before he met the perfect middle ground for closer ‘The Hills’ the track that launched him into the mainstream just two years ago.
The Weeknd sold out his tour in a matter of minutes last year, tonight proved that he has not just lived up to the hype but he really has surpassed it, It’s a joy to see a truly hardworking artist grow from making mix tapes in the bedroom to selling out arenas, the only question left is where possibly next for the Starboy? surely only stadiums await?
If your worried you’ve missed out, fear not! The Weeknd headlines this year’s Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park on July 9th, Tickets are still available but are sure to sell fast, get your tickets here!