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Story and photos by Andy ArgyrakisEven though he's about as famous as it gets, The Weeknd never stopped grinding on the road, stocking all of 2017 with the "Starboy: Legend Of The Fall" Tour. But after all that hustle and a constant stream of sell outs, backed by an album that topped the charts in 90 countries, moved over two million copies and broke worldwide streaming records, the man born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye finally said farewell to his current phase of performances in America at a packed United Center.
Accompanied by a three-piece band and a set that looked it beamed straight down from outer space, The Weeknd didn't descend from the rocket-like contraption, but simply outstretched his arms across a beam of lasers, which was all it took to whip fans into a frenzy. Now with a mound of hits straddling hip-hop, pop and R&B, the 27-year-old is attracting an audience from tweens to teens and twenty-somethings, but if the line "I just won a new award for a kids show/talking 'bout a face coming off a bag a blow" from "Reminder" was any indication, he's definitely aiming for the older end of that spectrum.
Even so, everyone screamed along to absolutely every word of "Starboy," "Party Monster" and several album tracks with equal fervency as the most familiar. Bringing out opener Nav for a run though the rapper's "Some Way" further enhanced the action, though The Weeknd's charisma and elevated production were enough to keep everyone glued to every move for about 90 minutes.
After giving his all, especially throughout "Angel," "Earned It," "In The Night" and "Secrets" (which samples The Romantics' "Talking In Your Sleep" and Tears For Fears' "Pale Shelter"), the singer fell a little flat during "Can't Feel My Face," but no one seemed to notice, and if they did, were so captivated by the moment they could've cared less. And The Weeknd could clearly do no wrong by the time "I Feel It Coming" and an encore of "The Hills" grooved into view, pumping additional wind into the sails of this flourishing superstar.
For a list of upcoming Live Nation and United Center shows, visit www.livenation.com and www.unitedcenter.com.
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