The Weeknd played on Wednesday in Warsaw as part of the “After Hour til Dawn Tour”. The 33-year-old Canadian created a spectacle that will remain in the memory for a long time. In an extremely coherent, conceptual setting, the greatest hits of the Canadian and more resounded. Concerts like this one are always worth waiting for, as reported by tvn24.pl reporter Tomasz-Marcin Wrona.
The Weeknd was initially supposed to visit Kraków, not Warsaw. It was the capital of Lesser Poland that appeared on “The After Hour Tour” (according to the original plan, it was supposed to be November 7, 2022).
However, in October 2021, the artist announced that the world tour calendar had been changed. “Due to the limitations of arenas and the need for more concerts, I want to do something bigger and special for you, and that requires stadium performances,” he explained in a statement at the time.
After his Wednesday performance, one can say without a doubt: it was worth the wait. Why? Because the artist easily kidnapped tens of thousands of people on a post-apocalyptic, cosmic journey through the ashes of a still burning city.
33-year-old Abel Makkonen Tesfaye – because this is the name of the winner of four Grammy awards – has repeatedly argued in his career that as an artist he does not take shortcuts and is not interested in half-measures. Without much difficulty, it was possible to quickly catch the most important motifs, inspirations and points of reference that accompanied him when inventing the setting of this route. The route, which was announced as “a journey through the cosmic cataclysm that affected and plagued the Earth”.
The Weeknd. An impressive, cohesive spectacle
The stage itself was quite unusual for a stadium concert and consisted of three parts. Its main part was the landscape of a destroyed city, which was created mainly by pearls of North American architecture. However, these were not literal representations that referred to Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis”. Heavy, melted constructions aroused anxiety at first. During the show, it turned out that this landscape is not only a background and space for the musicians playing with the singer. It was also the structure that literally burst into flames during “The Hills”. It looked impressive.
From this concert city, stretching along almost the entire surface of the stadium, was a street-like catwalk, in the center of which stood a large metallic robotic statue of a humanoid female figure trying to take flight. Opposite the main part of the stage there was a huge moon with a square platform underneath. And all this has been complemented by amazing light and laser effects.
The artist on stage was accompanied by a group of 30 dancers whose stylizations alluded on the one hand to religious habits, images of ancient priestesses, guardians of the temple. Their faces were covered so that only their eyes were visible. They performed very sparing choreographies, in which one could find inspiration in the dances of Bacchae or Isadora Duncan’s choreographies. It all created an engaging, very coherent and thoughtful spectacle, in the center of which, of course, was the music and him: The Weeknd.
The Weeknd. An artist out of this world
That Abel Tesfaye is a gifted, versatile visionary is quite obvious. On stage, he has something of the greatest music legends of the last decades. During the Warsaw concert, he made contact with the audience with great ease, it was obvious to the naked eye – even if for half the concert his face was covered with a mask referring to the one worn by the British rapper MF Doom who died in 2020 – that The Weeknd had a great time with the audience .
However, there were also moments where he seemed a little withdrawn. As if when confronted with the audience, he was not as charismatic as it might seem. Or maybe it’s just my impression. This does not change the fact that the Canadian feels great on stage. As in the visual layer, the individual elements were coherently selected, complemented each other and each of them explained itself, it was similar in the musical layer.
During the two-hour concert The Weekend performed about 30 songs – some in fragments – but even here everything was right. It flowed seamlessly from one issue to another, making it difficult to get bored even for a moment. Not only that, this dynamic, consistently maintained tempo also accompanied the calmer songs.
His album “After Hour” from the premiere in 2020 reminded me of night car journeys on empty highways or expressways. That feeling stayed with me throughout the concert. As if I was going on a tour again, during which sometimes you also have to slow down. This trip with the Canadian turned out to be very pleasant, inspiring and revealing. Because at the same time it was a balanced review of his work to date.
Main photo source: Getty Images