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The Weeknd Brings Global Stadium Tour to Foxborough’s Gillette Stadium: Review, Photos and Setlist

Abel Tesfaye’s stadium run continues through September

Weeknd live review setlist
The Weeknd, photo by Ben Stas
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    The road to R&B superstar The Weeknd’s 2022 “After Hours Til Dawn” tour (get tickets here) has been a complicated one, to say the least. Initially conceived as an arena run in support of 2020’s blockbuster album After Hours, the shows were an early victim of the great pandemic postponement wave that shifted eyes to the following summer. Another series of delays, new dates and new considerations — including the January release of After Hours followup Dawn FM — finally pushed the shows to this summer, boasting a retooled name and a refreshed set of stadium-sized ambitions.

    The arena-to-stadium leap is one reserved for a select few artists with the clout and commercial appeal to pull it off. Booking these behemoth structures and their 50,000-plus fan capacities — largely the domains of NFL football teams on this North American jaunt — is a statement move; an insistence that the average city-center arena would unacceptably constrain the spectacle of your show and the crowds clamoring for it.

    Following a two-year sprint of chart-topping, engineering a Super Bowl halftime show and otherwise positioning himself as one of the biggest pop stars anywhere, one Abel Tesfaye deemed himself up for the challenge. Thursday night’s (July 21st) show at Foxborough’s Gillette Stadium sought to bring enough firepower to prove it.

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    The trappings of an elaborately art-directed show were evident from one glance around the floor. An enormous crimson moon floated at one end of a football-field-length catwalk, facing a 3D model of a crumbling cityscape at the other. Once a masked Tesfaye hit the stage, to the tune of After Hours opener “Alone Again,” a dazzling light show (occasionally synced to the LED wristbands distributed to the crowd) and a crew of thematically choreographed dancers resembling the Imperial Guard entered the mix. The columns of flames blasting up from the stage during degenerate anthem “The Hills” a few songs later could’ve given Metallica a run for their money.

    The Weeknd gillette stadium

    The Weeknd, photo by Ben Stas

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