The Weeknd just kept us up ‘After Hours’! The Canadian crooner brought his A-game to the ‘SNL’ stage and we were grooving right along!
The Weeknd, 30, sounds better than ever! The Toronto-based singer — born Abel Tesfaye — just debuted his new song “Scared To Live Again” and we felt like he was singing right to us. The emotional new track delves into a tense past relationship, and the struggles both of them have after a break-up. “When I saw the signs I shouldn’t have let you go, but I kept you beside me/And if I held you back, at least I held you close/Should have known you were lonely,” he sings, showing off his incredible range. “I know things will never be the same…the whole reason you forgot to love,” he croons.
Rocking that same bloody nose and red dinner jacket ensemble from the short film titled After Hours (tying the name of the album and the song together), Abel is taking some serious cues from the ’80s and the legendary Michael Jackson. Even the bright stage lights were giving us Dynasty vibes, and he totally owns it! “Scared to live again, scared to live again,” he belts out on the chorus, singing about his ex who finds it difficult to move on after only knowing how to love him. While it’s unclear who the track might be about, it definitely seems pointed at a first-love situation from way back rather than his more recent romances with Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez. Unexpectedly, the track also samples Elton John‘s iconic “Your Song” — particularly the line, “I hope you don’t mind.”
For his first performance, The Weeknd came out strong with lead single “Blinding Lights.” The synth-heavy tune had us dancing right on our couch and it was truly one of the best performances we’ve seen on SNL in a long time! Early on in the performance, Abel tossed out his ear piece, possibly due to hearing issues — but that didn’t stop him from showcasing his stellar talent. “I look around and Sin City’s cold and empty (oh)/No one’s around to judge me (oh)/I can’t see clearly when you’re gone,” he sang — faux-bloody nose and red jacket in-tact — as he walked around the stage. “Oooh, I’m blinded by the lights,” he continued, before yelling “New York City!” The audience was more audible than ever as he wrapped up the song, with the whoops and screams loud and clear right through our television sets!
To tie into the upcoming album — which is scheduled for release on Mar. 20 — Abel also dropped a short film just days before SNL. In the five minute clip, a bloody Weeknd is seen smiling, once again, with that band-aid on his nose. The project was directed by Anton Tammi — who also directed his recent videos for “Blinding Lights” and “Heartless” — and begins as he finishes performing on Jimmy Kimmel Live (yup, Jimmy Kimmel himself makes a cameo). The singer casually makes his way through a subway station, in an outfit giving us serious Michael Jackson vibes, as he all of a sudden is dragged by a supernatural force! A couple then appears in an elevator, and it appears the singer potentially commits a heinous crime as the woman is heard screaming through the door.
All eyes have definitely been on the R&B star, as his single “Blinding Lights” just hit the top spot on Billboard’s Hot R&B Songs chart. The #1 marks his seventh on that particularly chart, setting a record for an artist, and the track has also had massive international success going to the #1 spot for airplay in several European countries and Australia. After Hours marks his first album release since 2016’s critically acclaimed Starboy and fans seem more than ready for the new tunes!
As part of the new album release, Abel is also hitting the road for another tour alongside Don Toliver, Sabrina Claudio and 88Glam. He kicks off a series of shows in Vancouver, British Columbia on June 11, wrapping in Paris, France on Nov. 12.