ENTERTAINMENT

The Weeknd rocks Seoul with exhilarating, nonstop performance

By Kim Jee-min
  • Published : Dec 16, 2018 - 14:15
  • Updated : Dec 16, 2018 - 15:28

As part of the Hyundai Card Culture Project, The Weeknd held his first concert in Korea at Gocheok Skydome in Seoul on Saturday.

Even before the show’s 7 p.m. start, the huge dome was already jam-packed with some 24,000 people waiting for the world’s leading R&B artist. 


Canadian R&B artist The Weeknd performs at Gocheok Skydome in Seoul on Saturday. (Hyundai Card)

The Weeknd kicked off the concert with “Pray for Me” from blockbuster film “Black Panther.” Though it was the first among his performances throughout the night, he blasted the crowd with powerful vocals and flawless ad libs. He then transitioned straight away to “Starboy” and “Party Monster,” from his Grammy-winning album “Starboy.”

The Weeknd engaged with the crowd from the start, requesting fans sing along and shouting out “Korea” to the enthusiastic crowd. While performing “Reminder,” and many other songs, he sang “Korea” in a vocalized melody.

After covering songs he featured in, including “Low Life,” “Might Not” and “Crew Love,” The Weeknd continued his performance with some of his older hits, including “House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls,” where he grabbed the mic stand and swept across the stage.

Fans were thrilled to see The Weeknd’s groovy dance steps for more upbeat songs like “Can’t Feel My Face” and “I Feel it Coming.”


Canadian R&B artist The Weeknd performs at Gocheok Skydome in Seoul on Saturday. (Hyundai Card)

“Thank you,” said The Weeknd. “It’s my first time in Korea, and you guys are so beautiful.”

Not long after, The Weeknd returned to perform old-school songs from his debut mixtape, including “The Morning” and “Wicked Games.” He grinned when people held up their phone lights and waved their arms, illuminating Gocheok Skydome.


Canadian R&B artist The Weeknd performs at Gocheok Skydome in Seoul on Saturday. (Hyundai Card)

As the live band aspect of the concert accentuated the rock element of his songs, the R&B artist shined like a true rock star. His stage presence was reminiscent of Queen’s Freddie Mercury as he led the crowd in a call-and-response before kicking into his finale, “The Hills.” He bowed and blew kisses before leaving the stage, finishing the night without an encore.

Throughout a seamless set of 24 songs from his debut mixtape to Grammy-winning albums, The Weeknd delivered a powerful performance and left fans already anticipating his next visit to Korea.


Canadian R&B artist The Weeknd performs at Gocheok Skydome in Seoul on Saturday. (Hyundai Card)

Canadian singer-songwriter Abel Tesfaye, better known by the stage name The Weeknd, drew attention with his music on YouTube before officially debuting in 2011. He has won three Grammys, including his most recent Best Urban Contemporary Album award for “Starboy.”

By Kim Jee-min (jeeminkim@heraldcorp.com)