CPP students critique The Weeknd’s Super Bowl halftime show

By Brynn Sherbert, Feb. 16, 2021

The Weeknd performed during the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 7, leaving R&B and soul fans a show to remember despite the pandemic and a limited live audience. The artist sang several of his hit songs as he made his way from the main stage to a brightly lit maze and concluded his performance on the football field with an army of masked dancers.

The performance, like The Weeknd, was simple yet extravagant as he delivered powerful messages through his lyrics, encouraging younger generations to be more authentic to themselves.

Despite the grand performance, Cal Poly Pomona students shared mixed opinions on the The Weeknd’s Super Bowl performance.

Demetrius Williams | Third-year physics student (Courtesy of Demetrius Williams)

“I thought that this year’s halftime show was unique and exciting for a plethora of reasons. Despite being restricted by COVID-19, The Weeknd was able to deliver a spectacular performance, and I really appreciate how he contributed $7 million of his own money to make sure it was what he envisioned. Furthermore, I found it very enjoyable how his performance featured songs that spanned his entire discography, from 2011 to 2020. Although his performance might not have measured up to Beyoncé, Bruno Mars or Prince, it was definitely one of my favorite performances in recent years. The Weeknd made great use of the resources at his disposal and was able to provide his audience with a flashy and memorable performance.”




Ivette Mart | Third-year liberal studies student (Courtesy of Ivette Mart)

“I really enjoyed watching the Super Bowl halftime show. However, the beginning of the show looked like it was mimicking a traditional church choir when The Weeknd went through the door. I did not like how close up the camera got to his face when he was performing. It was kind of awkward to watch and made me feel dizzy. Other than that, I thought the show was awesome and The Weeknd did a great job performing.”






Angelo Sanchez | Fifth-year industrial engineering student (Courtesy of Angelo Sanchez)

“I thought the halftime show could have been better. There was not anything too special about the show that made me want to jump out of my seat. I thought the show was going to be better since The Weeknd was spending $7 million of his own money into it. I definitely thought last year’s show was better than this year.”







Maia Rucker | Third-year liberal studies student (Courtesy of Maia Rucker)

“When watching the Super Bowl show, I was confused about what was going on because of the red jackets. From seeing all of the memes and recap videos later on Instagram, I learned that it was about something much bigger. The Weeknd had been leading up to it overtime by building up a backstory by wearing bandages and prosthetics and having a bloody nose over the course of a year. It was interesting that he put so much effort into it all and a backstory. It reminded me of something older artists would do, like Michael Jackson. I think his approach to the message that Hollywood celebrities and people manipulate themselves and look to stay relevant is ridiculous and getting out of hand.”




BJ Standley | Fourth-year business student (Courtesy of BJ Standley)

“When the halftime show for the Super Bowl started, I was not too impressed. I watched only about the first five to 10 minutes of it. The performance itself was good but the audio was hard to understand and The Weeknd sounded faint. I strongly believe that if the audio was crystal clear, then it could have easily been one of the greatest performances the Super Bowl has had. The Weeknd sounded so faint it made the halftime show a little underwhelming.”





Jordan Hilst | Fourth-year liberal studies student (Courtesy of Jordan Hilst)

“I thought the halftime show was very interesting, especially the introduction part where The Weeknd came in with a huge sense of light coming through the stage. The special effects and the background lights showing all the buildings were also amazing to watch. One aspect of the show I was not expecting was when The Weeknd went back inside the doors and recorded himself while singing. But, overall, I enjoyed seeing all the different sceneries shown throughout the show.”






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