The Weeknd at O2 Arena, London: His star is still on the ascent

Canadian artist gets the party going

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Emerging out of a trapdoor in the stage beneath a giant spaceship (or is it a star? No one can seem to agree) with blinking lights is spectacle enough for The Weeknd. 

Asides from this giant construction that tilts upwards as he moves across the floor, his set is relatively simple.

Canadian-born Abel Tesfaye has enjoyed a phenomenal rise to the top, and from the beginning he makes it clear that this is something of a thank you to the fans who helped him get there.

An irresistible sensuality lends itself to tracks like “Worth It” from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, arguably the only good thing about that entire film, while silky smooth vocals accompany the sexy and at times downright dirty “Often”.  

But like Drake a few weeks before him, the 27-year-old struggles to keep the energy alive in such a huge and cold space.

While the passion he brings with him keeps fans moving for the first five songs, there's a noticeable dip after that, despite the help of massive pop bangers such as “Rockin’”.

Tesfaye also still has some way to go when it comes to engaging with his audience (a half-hearted “London is the loudest crowd” is pretty much all they get).

Still, with a live band at his back and his natural sense of showmanship, he segues effortlessly from one song to the next; “Secrets” slips into a buoyant rendition of “Can’t Feel My Face”.

And it’s still astonishing how he manages to bring out one pop banger after the next; he moves swiftly through hits from Beauty Behind the Madness and Starboy while also delving into Kiss Land and his 2011 mixtape House of Balloons.

Regardless of whether he fully succeeded in keeping the party going for the entire night, it’s clear that The Weeknd’s star is still on the ascent. 

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