When: October 22, 2012
Where: House of Blues, Boston
The Weeknd’s rise to fame was wholly forseeable: the Drake-endorsed introspective crooner is the perfect balance of lush, torch song vibes and intense, unsettling honesty. His debut album, House of Balloons, was eaten up by the blogs like candy. Full of melodies submerged in dark sounds, the record is saturated with words that seem dredged from the murkiest depths of his memory. His show at Royale earlier this year sold out in mere hours. The Weeknd is so in demand that he added a second Boston date for this tour to appease the masses–and he did not disappoint.
Surrounded by an array of black balloons and screens displaying images of immaculate models, the singer lived up to high expectations. Vocally, he was flawless. “The Zone,” “High For This,” and crowd favorite “Wicked Games” displayed his melodic gift with ease–raw sincerity and enigmatic urgency all came through in his delivery. But rich vocal harmonies aren’t the only things The Weeknd knows how to serve up. The music his live band executed–searing guitars, swoony keyboards, eager drums–were downright impressive and complemented nicely by The Weeknd’s cloudy emotions (especially on “Crew Love”). There is no doubt The Weeknd will sell out whichever Boston venue he decides to book next in record time–the man is that damn good.