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The Weeknd Did What Any Performer Should Do | Sing About Me

The house lights at SoFi Stadium turned on Sept. 3 as The Weeknd announced to a sold-out crowd of 70,000 that he was stopping his concert short.

The Weeknd sent the Los Angeles venue into a rave with his sudden exit. Only three songs into his set, he cut the microphone and marched offstage before returning to explain that he’d lost his voice – and that he’d be doing his fans a disservice by continuing to perform.

Clips of the occurrence spread like wildfire across the internet, and one can hear how audibly distressed he sounds when explaining how he wanted to be direct about the issue at hand rather than opting to detail his cancellation over social media.

“I wanted to come out and personally apologize, not tweet it or Instagram or whatever,” the artist said, standing front and center on stage. “I wanted you guys to know that I can’t give you what I want to give you, and I apologize.”

The superstar promised refunds and tickets to a make-up show while outraged fans booed him to the point where he was seemingly on the verge of tears.

“You know how much this kills me, and I’m sorry,” he said while parting solemnly with a congregation of fans turned foes. “I love you. Thank you so much.”

I caught wind of the incident at the same time as everyone and their mothers, which was almost immediately after it happened. Abel’s biggest stans were the first to share their collective thoughts, and it was to be expected that they each wanted to come to the rescue of their fallen angel. But fans and nonfans alike had to acknowledge the reality that 70,000 people invested a serious share of time and money into a near-worst possible outcome.

Anthony Fantano, a widely followed YouTuber and music critic, shed some light onto the matter in a recent video, recognizing that much of the outrage at the concert stemmed from a place much deeper than a wasted ticket purchase. A good chunk of the concert-goers are sure to have traveled from far and wide to attend, meaning that hours of journeying and budgeting for a weekend excursion to Los Angeles were all for naught. That would piss off any one of us.

Haley Alvarez-Lauto | DFP Staff

Of course, there was a delusional minority that tried to bash The Weeknd for copping out of his performance, not being able to accept the fact that the man physically could not continue singing. I don’t even like The Weeknd’s music all that much, but I won’t pretend that the man isn’t an awe-inspiring and generational stage presence with god-given vocal ability – if he stops performing, it’s not because he wants to.

Here lies my case for why The Weeknd’s decision to stop the show was permissible, past the notion that it was the medically advisable choice to make. I wouldn’t be the first to cite his record of providing raw vocals at all of his shows. In an era of live performance that is dominated by lip-syncing within the spheres of pop and R&B, he opts to rely on his powerhouse ability and belts day in, day out.

Moreover, his “After Hours Til Dawn” tour has been running since July 8, and he’s been performing at least twice a week ever since – including the night before the incident. What we see before us is a man that lays it all out on the line for his fans, giving them a caliber of performance that is seemingly endangered while literally method acting his way into a character’s shoes. Think of the advertising and stage design that we saw when he was promoting “After Hours” and during the Super Bowl LV halftime show — to convince his audience that his music is coming alive.

There are a multitude of reasons to criticize an artist for walking offstage. If one went to see Ye perform in 2016 and he stormed out of the arena after ranting about Mark Zuckerberg for 25 minutes, they should’ve been refunded double the money that they paid for the ticket. If Michael Jackson had continued a performance after spraining his ankle five minutes in, fans would naturally walk away from it disappointed and without a bang for their buck.

With his stage persona and a uniquely dynamic live vocal capability, The Weeknd gives trademark performances every time he steps to microphone – the authenticity and integrity of such cannot be replicated with autotune, just as giving a walking boot to an injured MJ wouldn’t have restored the dancing prowess that the world knew and loved. Fans need to respect The Weeknd as a performer above all else – as simple as it sounds, as a prolific live performer, he cannot do his job without a voice.




One Comment

  1. Excellent article. 👏

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