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Review: The Weeknd leaves his mark (with an XO) in Edmonton

The Weeknd

The Weeknd made a stop in Edmonton Monday evening (Oct. 2) for the second leg of the Starboy: Legend of The Fall 2017 World Tour, with special guests Nav and French Montana. Eager fans came out to Rogers Place in droves to catch a glimpse of the Toronto-native’s futuristic performance.

French Montana wasted no time getting the party started with his opening set (unfortunately we missed Nav prior to). With the arena nearly full, he ran through his club bangers from “Ain’t Worry About Nothin’,” “Don’t Panic” and “Pop That.” The Coke Boy killed his featured verses from “Work” remix (A$AP Ferg), “Lockjaw” (Kodak Black) and “Hot N*gga” remix (Bobby Shmurda) among many others. He treated us with a few new joints from his latest album Jungle Rules (“Whiskey Eyes” and “Bring Them Things”) before wrapping up with summer 2017’s undisputed anthem “Unforgettable.”

The stage was equipped with a giant catwalk, towered with a massive space-like structure that illuminated in different colours as it changed shape. We’re talking lazers, dry ice, the whole nine yards. As the smoke cleared, The Weeknd made his entrance from underneath the the middle of the catwalk, opening his set with “Starboy” followed by “Party Monster” and “Reminder”. Okay, Abel!

Backed with a three piece band, The Weeknd effortlessly serenaded Rogers Place with a 20-song set which was a mix of songs from House of Ballons (“Wicked Games”), Beauty Behind the Madness (“Earned It”, “Often” and “Acquainted”) all the way to his latest album Starboy. He paid homage to fellow Canadian and XO affiliate Belly with “Might Not”, repped Future with “Low Life” and nodded to Drake with “Crew Love.”

Nav returned to the stage to assist Abel on “Someway” which was well received by the crowd. French also came out a second time to perform “Unforgettable” (yes, again and nobody was mad at it) and “A Lie.” A lot can be said about The Weeknd’s character when it comes to supporting his peers. He took a backseat in those moments and let Nav and French have their shine.

I’ll be transparent – going into this I was nervous that a full set of The Weeknd would be somewhat of a snooze-fest (one can only listen to so many ballads) but I can assure you that Rogers Place was popping on Monday night. Popping! Everyone was up on their feet singing along to every lyric at the top of their lungs.

Before closing the night with “Can’t Feel My Face” (followed by “I Feel It Coming” and “The Hills” for the encore), The Weeknd asked the crowd “Are trying to go home right now?” The reaction was deafening. With vocals as smooth and angelic as Abel’s, how can you not melt for the kid?

Follow @TheWeeknd on Twitter.

Written by Rosa Jason for HipHopCanada

Photography by Tyler Johnstone for HipHopCanada

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