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Concert review: The Weeknd brings his A-game to Columbus

 

The Weeknd gave Columbus fans everything he had and more in a truly magnificent concert Tuesday night at the Schottenstein Center.

The Toronto native, who specializes in hip-hop and R&B, has been active since 2010 after he was discovered by Drake.

After an obscenely long wait due to three separate opening acts, The Weeknd finally made his entrance as stunning visuals and hanging props flooded the Schottenstein center.

A live band was the cherry on top of his grand entrance. Columbus was ecstatic when The Weeknd commenced the show with “Starboy” –– perhaps the biggest hit off his latest album –– which set the tone for an amazing performance.

The crowd was in a frenzy. The Weeknd performed hits over and over, maintaining the excitement in the crowd as everyone awaited his next song selection.

A huge turning point in his set, however, was his performance of “Crew Love.”  The Weeknd didn’t miss a single note, and was extremely well received by his audience.

To finish off his epic performance, he brought the Schott down with his newest hit “I Feel It Coming.”  After the crowd almost blew the roof off of the building, The Weeknd decided to perform an encore and capped off the night with “The Hills” ––  arguably his greatest hit to date. My ears are still ringing from the crowds applause.

Long before the final applause, the show was opened by an interesting DJ who goes by the name DJ Pnda (panda). Using an electronic drum set and covering popular artists, DJ Pnda included popular artists like Drake, Lil Uzi Vert and Madeintyo throughout his set.

Fascinating lights that pulsated to the sound of each rhythm created an intense and enjoyable atmosphere.The climax of the set was DJ Pnda’s cover of Travis Scott’s “Antidote,” which was extremely well performed, but went unnoticed due to the lack of an audience. However, the performance was solid.

Following DJ Pnda was the The Weeknd’s newest hip-hop project Nav. Another Toronto native, the artist has skyrocketed in popularity since late 2016. Nav kicked off his performance with “Perfect Timing,” a track off his newest collaboration with producer Metro Boomin.

Nav had a difficult time getting the crowd involved all night. His gestures and lack of effort permeated through the crowd, and he was unable to replicate the sound that fans were familiar with from his studio production.

Nav finished up his set list with his hit song “Myself.” Overall, I was disappointed in Nav’s set, as he seemed to go through the motions and didn’t make a solid effort to engage the audience.

Next on stage was the Atlanta artist Gucci Mane, who set the tone for his performance by performing “Both,” a hit single featuring Drake. The crowd was obviously pleased to watch Gucci Mane’s performance.

He fired off new songs left and right, as well as paying homage to some of his classics –– “Lemonade,” “Freaky Girl” and “Wasted” all were well received. Although Gucci Mane rapped some of his past hits, he still gave a lackluster performance to a sold out Columbus crowd.

Gucci Mane coasted through his set without saying much. His performance was a let down, especially for an artist of his magnitude.

Nav and Gucci Mane were letdowns, and I was anticipating a much more eventful show with those two at the helms of a microphone. Various people around me were upset with those two as well. However, The Weeknd negated any negative experience we had. He saved the evening with one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen.

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