By Kaitlyn Oliveros, Dec. 13, 2022
Abel Tesfaye, most famously known as The Weeknd, performed for two nights at Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium and I had the opportunity to go to his Nov. 26 show. Originally, this show was scheduled for Sept. 3, but due to losing his voice midway through the first song, the show was canceled. Although I was devastated that day, I was happy to come back and experience my first The Weeknd concert the right way.
I’ve been a fan of Tesfaye’s music for years now. His music has gotten me through some of my toughest moments and I was more than happy to finally hear my favorite songs live. While I did have that small fear of the show being canceled again, I walked into SoFi Stadium with nothing but excitement.
I bought my floor seat ticket back in March on impulse. I was going alone, and I had no idea how I was getting to SoFi Stadium. I just knew that I needed to be there. Luckily, I had some friends going to the show, so I had a ride.
Walking into SoFi Stadium and getting my floor wristband and LED bracelet, I was ready for round two. After going through what seemed like a maze to get down to the floor seating, my heart began beating as fast as a drum once I saw the stage setup.
The setup consisted of city towers on the main stage and a catwalk that led to the beautiful inflatable moon at the end. The moon was what I was most excited to see. After taking a few pictures, I made my way to my seat.
Although the show started around 6 p.m., the Starboy didn’t come out until a few minutes after 9 p.m.
The lights went out, and everyone around me immediately stood up. The music started to play as red lights began flashing. His backup dancers dressed in red gowns that covered them from head to toe walked in a straight line on the stage.
I couldn’t believe this was happening. I was finally seeing The Weeknd.
There he was, rising from the ground wearing a mask and dressed in black. He opened with “Alone Again,” the first song from his album “After Hours.”
In the back of my mind, I did have that small fear. This was the song he was singing when his voice went out last time. I knew when it happened. He was just about to sing those lyrics. I crossed my fingers and hoped it would be different this time.
“Together we’re alone … in Los Angeles,” Tesfaye sang, and the crowd went wild. He did it. In that moment, all my fear vanished. I took in everything and enjoyed the moment.
As the concert continued, I felt as if time stopped. Hearing my favorite songs live felt like an out of body experience. The transitions between songs were incredible.
Before singing his hit song “Heartless,” Tesfaye took the opportunity to acknowledge that he sold out four shows at SoFi Stadium. He even made a small joke about the incident on Sept. 3, saying he’s back at “the scene of the crime.” He asked how his voice was sounding now, and everyone cheered.
Although I was excited to hear every song that was on the setlist, there was one song I couldn’t wait to hear live, and that song was “Kiss Land.” Since I had the setlist, I knew when he’d be singing it.
He had just finished singing “Or Nah.” The lights then flashed a light green color, and the screen showed glimpses of the visuals from the “Kiss Land” album. That is my favorite album from The Weeknd, so getting to hear a song from that album was an experience I’ll never forget.
“This is for my OG XO fans at SoFi tonight,” Tesfaye said as he sang the song underneath the moon. I sang my heart out for this song. It felt as if he was singing it just for me, truly a surreal moment.
Tesfaye sang the night away, and his live vocals were incredible. There was a brief pause during the show where he stopped singing and took everything in. The crowd cheered him on for at least two minutes.
He got a little emotional, thanking fans for coming out and dedicating the next song “Die For You” to Los Angeles. At this point, you can hear everyone screaming the lyrics. Looking around, I saw couples sharing kisses, friends hugging each other and strangers becoming friends as they sang along with Tesfaye. It was a beautiful moment.
The night continued, and I did everything I could to just take everything in. I noticed that fans slowly made their way to the front row. Security didn’t seem to mind. I was in the row 15 so I had a great view, but something in me told me to go up. Acting on impulse, I left my seat and walked right up to the front row.
At that very moment, I was in shock. There he was, right in front of me singing “Call Out My Name.” I couldn’t believe I was so close to him. I knew the show was about to end, but I didn’t care. I just couldn’t believe it.
I stayed there up until the concert ended. He closed the show with “Blinding Lights.” I made sure to sing my heart out for this song, especially since it was the last song.
The show was over, and I was at a loss for words. This was one of the best concerts I had ever been to. I will never forget this night.
Feature image courtesy of Kaitlyn Oliveros
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