The Weeknd in Milan, more than just a concert: it’s a real “The (pop) Idol” show

Announced, Confirmed: The Weeknd is coming to Milan for the first time and doing so with his “After Hours til Dawn Tour”. Tickets for two concerts, only one hundred and sixty thousand people, a show that confirms that the Canadian artist is a real pop musician. Idol. With him on stage are twenty-four Vestal dancers of fire and art, Abel Tesfaye, a real star of international music, who chooses New York and its majestic skyscrapers as a backdrop. We were at the first of two concerts: here is our story

Let’s start with an assumption, not very important, but probably interesting: I already saw The Weeknd last year at Coachella with Swedish House Mafia, the headliner of the third and last day (both weekends). The artists were chosen after Kanye West was penalized almost at the last minute, but the selection was well received. I didn’t like The Weeknd at that time, however, despite coming as a fan, while Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso really made a positive impression on me. It might have been the mood of Coachella, but the Swedish house supergroup was clearly better. Abel Tesfaye? Almost didn’t get it. But I couldn’t skip Milan to see if the Indio concert was (my) an accident along the way. Well: my assumptions were refuted about two minutes after the start of the concert.

New York, musicians, vestals and a mask

The concert starts on time at 21 with “Take a breath”: Abel is dressed in white and wears a mask. Behind him is a scenography-reconstruction of New York with its symbolic skyscrapers: the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the unmistakable skyline of the Big Apple. The Weeknd wants to play a Gotham City superhero in this mask? Maybe, but in the meantime he puts on an incredible show, paying attention to every detail. A concert with a live band, which is not limited to the simple performance of songs, but creates a context that exceeds all expectations. The Weeknd is getting big and it shows. And, of course, his live performance is like a real pop idol.

He moves easily between the main stage, where the band’s musicians hide (but hear very well) among the skyscrapers of the Big Apple, and a smaller stage, almost in the center of the Hippodrome, where he sings some songs (including “Blinding Lights”, near the end concert – the radiance of lights and colors with a strong creative and emotional impact). With him are twenty-four vestals dressed in white, with their bodies and faces covered, perfectly aligned with the Canadian artist and never “invading” the stage. They are not marginal, but an integral part of the show, but in no way overlap with Tesfaye.

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The Weeknd concert in Milan: everything you need to know

The Weeknd concert in Milan – ©Getty

Flames and colors

After the impact began, The Weeknd continues his show with “Sacrifice”, “How Do I Make You Love Me?” and “Can’t feel my face” (the track is taken from his second album “Beauty Behind the Madness” in 2015, which made him famous in Italy as well. With “Lost in the Fire”, “Hurricane” and “The Hills” – literally – the first lights appear: the stage explodes with enthusiasm and flames, which further color the concert, which song after song almost becomes almost a sensual experience.There is no need to deny it: The Weeknd is a pop star, one of the few in recent years, able to shape himself year after year, album after album.

Are you ready to party all night long?

Are you ready to party all night? asks The Weeknd at one point as he chats with the audience, who cheers and kisses multiple times. During the concert, Abel is heard saying “Happy birthday baby” to the girl in the pit before starting to sing again (yes, even with the audience…and also taking the cell phone of an unsuspecting fan who is filming everything). The voice from where I am is audible and very good. The line-up features two songs co-produced with Daft Punk, namely “Starboy” and “I feel it going”, as well as “Save Your Tears”, which precedes the explosion of “Blinding Lights”, a success that dazzles the beauty of all present. An impressive play of lights that really reminds of Broadway, in New York that never sleeps. “If you turn off the lights on Broadway, you turn off the whole city,” some friends from the Big Apple told me some time ago. And in this first Milan live show of The Weeknd, these lights take us right across the border in just a few minutes.



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“Milan is a mission”

“I need to go back to Milan: you’ve really lost your mind!” says the Canadian artist enthusiastically, who brought with him Kaitranada, an artist and producer – also Canadian – who took the stage ahead of him about an hour before the start of the concert. The Weeknd no longer has a mask and is Abel, as he recently asked to be called. The show continues with “Creepin'”, “Popular”, “In Your Eyes” and ends with “Moth to a Flame”, which was a success for Swedish House Mafia. Nothing to do: The Weeknd is one of the most interesting, impressive and spectacular pop stars of recent years. His show, like all his albums, has his constant sources of inspiration: Michael Jackson, Prince, David Bowie, Deftones, Lana Del Rey and Ethiopian music. A mixture of styles that he has also created in recent years: it is impossible to give a precise definition, if not “new wave” or a new musical era, of which he is one of the main representatives. First with dreadlocks, then without. Just like Jean-Michel Basquiat, the artist from whom he drew inspiration, the main exponent of the neo-expressionist movement in New York in the 1980s. What has left its mark on the world of art. What Abel-The Weeknd began to do from the early days of his career, becoming a real Starboy.



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Take my breath


How to make you love me?

Can’t feel my face

Lost in the fire

Hurricane (Kanye West cover)


Kissing land



House of balloons


Low standard of living


Party monsters


Non-working hours

Out of time

I feel it coming

die for you

Is there someone else?

I have never been there

call my name


save your tears

Less than zero

blinding lights

Tears in the rain



In your eyes

Moth in flame



La Prima Estate, Metro Boomin closes second music weekend PHOTO

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