What The Weeknd’s Halftime Show really means


The Super Bowl was last Sunday February 7th, and Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, performed the halftime show. Reviews for the performance were mixed, some people loved the show and some found it boring and lacking. Whether you think it was boring or not, the unique way of storytelling through the show and the performers was really interesting. Everything throughout his performance had a deeper meaning and followed a plot. Even the Facial bandages all his backup dancers wore.

Following the release of his album “After Hours”, The Weeknd wore bandages on his face for every appearance he has made for the past year. It started with a bandaged nose all the way back in January of 2020 on Jimmy Kimmel. It progressed more and more and by The American Music Awards in November, his face was entirely bandaged to look like he just got plastic surgery. 


He recently revealed the reason why. He’s been playing a character. You can see the progression of the character in every music video he released for his “After Hours” album. All of this building towards the halftime show. 


“The significance of the entire head bandages is reflecting on the absurd culture of Hollywood celebrities and people manipulating themselves for superficial reasons to please and be validated,” Tesfaye said in an interview with Variety. “It’s all a progression and we watch The Character’s storyline hit heightened levels of danger and absurdity as his tale goes on.”

The Weeknd at the 2020 American Music Awards

According to theories from fans, The Weeknd structured his halftime performance to match with the story that he has been weaving through his album and music videos.

The show starts with him in front of a choir representing his character as an innocent, new performer. He then enters a room of mirrors and bright lights during which he is quite literally being blinded by the fame.The bandaged backup dancers run into the room and begin pushing The Weeknd around. Signifying the ways his character has changed himself both physically with plastic surgery and in personality in order to fit in with Hollywood. When he escapes the room he is shown on top of the world. Sacrificing his identity, his character is happy with the fame he achieves from it. Then the backup dancers which symbolize different versions of himself begin surrounding him. In the end, he is swallowed up by the different versions he’s created and then spit out while his past identities lie dead around him.


Even though many found the performance uninteresting you still have to appreciate the amount of detail put into telling this story. Alongside the fact that he has been building this plotline for months with the Super Bowl Halftime performance as the grand finale.