Sensual, racy and emotional; The Weeknd seduces sold out Hard Rock


Ty Wright / Valencia Voice

Abel Tesfaye, who goes by The Weeknd, performing “Pretty” to a sold out Hard Rock Live crowd.

ORLANDO — Sex, drugs and more sex — “Warning this show contains mature content,” guest are advised as they entered the Hard Rock Live, Friday night for the sold out “Kiss Land Fall Tour”.

From the parking lot to the venue, everything belonged to Abel Tesfaye (who goes by The Weeknd). The music Gods provided a perfect setting for night — hipster chicks dressed in mom shorts, band tees and winter skully hats — natural herbal- substance aroma filled room, while a dark foggy overcast served as a welcoming background outside, mirroring the mood that would take place inside.

Serving as the perfect composer, Tesfaye added to the ambiance providing free condoms at his merchandise table, along with a video display of two girls fornicating with each other on his stage backdrop.

“How many of you have heard my new album ‘Kiss Land’?” asked the 23-year old singer out of Toronto Canada to the sold out crowd. “For those who didn’t I wanted you to experience the new songs like this, with the fans singing along and weed smoke being blown in the air.”

Who is The Weeknd and how did he get so popular? How has a guy who has made it his duty to stay out of the tabloids become such a fan favorite, hosting his second consecutive sold out show in Orlando not even a year apart.

The human nature of Prince with vocal abilities resembling a paranoid Michael Jackson, The Weeknd and his new age R&B style has taken over Generation Y.

Performing almost every song of his new “Kiss Land” album, which debuted at No.2 on the Billboard 200 list — The Weeknd transited over the Japanese themes to his performance, quick infomercials of Japanese hotlines and hentai characters served as transition pieces as he moved from one song to another.

About as mysterious as they come, Tesfaye opened up his set with “Adaptation” behind a sheer curtain, forcing fans to enjoy his singing skills and not dwell on his personal presence (much like how his career has been).

While it was the “Kiss Land Fall Tour”, The Weeknd made sure to perform “the fucking classics.” Paying homage to his first piece of work, Tesfaye performed songs of off his mixtape “House of Balloons”: “The Zone,”  “The Morning,” “Wicked Games” and a few more. But he did not venture off into his other two projects “Echoes of Silence” and “Thursday” during his sensual 90-minute performance which fans sang along to every time.

At one point during the show you could tell that Tesfaye was caught off guard that he had such a loyal following, as the crowd managed to overpower him being so loud.

A good performance can truly increase an artist stock and take an individual song to the next level. During “Pretty” we got to see just how egotistic and heartbroken Tesfaye was. With all eyes on him, the video monitors switched from playing videos to a close up of Tesfaye performing live, where fans were able to see the agony this relationship has put on him.

Beauty, Banks, opened the show and served as a perfect compliant to The Weeknd. If there were a girl on the other end responding to his lyrics it would be her. Afraid to let her talent show at times, the dark themed artist comes off as the cutie that didn’t realize she was hot until way late. Taking a break from performing songs off her latest EP “London,” Banks true talents were displayed during her cover of Lauryn Hill – “Ex Factor.”

Photos from the night