This week The Weeknd had a two-night Late Show residency, and he aimed his attention squarely at the viewers at home, while sparing only half a thought for the live studio audience. That’s an interesting approach, especially if, like most of the people reading this article, you weren’t in the live studio audience. On the first night he took “Heartless” on a psychedelic tour of the Ed Sullivan Theater’s backstage hallways, which were transformed by flashing lights and spinning rooms. For the second night, he did actually perform “Blinding Lights” in front of the audience, but those people only saw half the story.
The man born Abel Tesfaye danced in a box of mirrors as the audience held up reflectors. The rest of us saw a second camera angle placed alongside the first. At the beginning of “Blinding Lights”, we see The Weekend from both the front and the back. Later the second angle is switched to a reflection of the first, so that if Tesfaye faces the right, he’s staring into the eyes of another version of himself . The black-and-white filter, and the constant pulses of light from the audience, create a sense of vertigo among the seemingly infinite mirrors. Watch the full dizzying spectacle below.
“Blinding Lights” and “Heartless” are The Weeknd’s first solo releases since 2018’s My Dear Melancholy EP. Earlier this week we got the official “Heartless” video, in which he and Metro Boomin lick toads and trip through Vegas.
The Weeknd has a role in the upcoming Adam Sandler movie Uncut Gems.