For the first time since going number one with ‘Beauty Behind the Madness’ The Weeknd (aka Abel Tesfaye) brought his unique brand of sexuality to the UK; playing at the recently rebranded iTunes festival at London’s Roundhouse (Wednesday 23rd September.)
Tesfaye focussed the majority of his set on Beauty Behind the Madness, opening with mesmerising album track Prisoner, before quickly launching into an incredibly energetic performance of Losers for a bouncing, beer-covered and awestricken crowd.
Each lyric sang, every word spoken and every movement made, The Weeknd oozes sensuality and we’re not talking the fake brand of slutty sexualism that you’d see in an Ariana Grande music video; this is real, and you could cut the tension in the room with a knife.
Backed by a three-piece band on a raised platform behind him; Tesfaye confidently captivates his audience by flitting between slow and sexy R&B hits such as Often and The Hills, and upbeat pop songs like I Cant Feel My Face and Crew Love. You’re never left to subconsciously submerge yourself into any one vibe for too long, if there’s one thing The Weeknd is, it’s not boring.
Claiming to have a soft spot for the UK, as we welcomed him with open arms in the early stages of his career, The Weeknd rewards us with a two-track encore. “You don’t know what’s in store, but you know what you’re here for,” sings Tesfaye in High For This, before transcending into the beautiful erotic Wicked Games, as the room falls to darkness.
Tesfaye has the audience in the palm of his hand from start to finish with his stunning vocals, seductive lyrics and enviable conviction; he may have been alone on that stage, but he owned it.
*All shows from Apple Music Festival can be streamed on demand via Apple Music and Apple TV
Images: Apple Music Festival, London 2015.