On an average Tuesday night, Revolution Live had concert-goers of all ages in a frenzy over The Weeknd, a.k.a Abel Tesfaye’s first stop in South Florida. Fans gathered outside as early as 10am to get front row. Just by a quick glace, one could definitely feel the patronage to not only The Weeknd but also to OVO, his mentor Drake’s crew, through the sheer amount of OVOXO gear that was being sported.
Once I got inside, I immediately regretted not getting there an hour earlier as there was nowhere to put our bodies. Having been to Revolution many a time and never experiencing this huge of a turnout, we were shocked at how densely packed the venue was. Five minutes later, around 9 p.m., the lights dimmed heavily and the entire crowd pushed forward. Tesfaye opened with “High for This,” with a three-piece band backing him, and from there on it was a quick progression through House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence. Playing songs like “Crew Love” and his rendition of “Dirty Diana,” people around us literally knew every lyric, word for word. It’s clear to see that his music has a cult-like following among the masses, not to mention the almost overnight success he’s enjoyed.
During a slew of slow ballads, it seemed like the rager kids were getting restless and the couples were instantaneously cued to make out. He barely spoke through his exactly one hour performance, except to ask if we were “down with House of Balloons.” At this point, I did feel the crowd was carrying him through the songs and overpowering his quasi-pitchy vocals. To wake some up, he poured water bottles on those clinging to the railing of the stage whilst singing “Glass Table Girls,” flashing strobe lights in check. For his encore, he sang “Wicked Games” acoustic and had just about everyone in the room with their cell phones out Instagramming, videoing, Facebooking, or Twittering. Rendering couples to their sexy time sides, I think its pretty safe to say that at least ten babies will be made after the show.
When the show suddenly ended, I was disappointed that he hadn’t performed “What You Need.” Ultimately, I think that the intimacy of his music gets lost with this much company and the vulnerability that we’re all so drawn to is not able to lend itself in the same way. Concerts like Coachella, I believe, cripple his talent and definitely don’t do him justice. This was Tesfaye’s first tour, so we cant hate that hard. Altogether his effort was apparent and I think most fans left happy.