By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
"I go by the name The Weeknd...I came to meet my peoples and show them some love...let's get sexy," The Weekend smirked, as he kicked off the first of three NYC shows as part his ongoing tour, The Fall, on Thursday (October 25).
Outfitted in a black XO t-shirt and puffy black jacket, the newcomer captivated the sold-out crowd at the cavernous Terminal 5. As his buzz has exploded--fueled in part by his recent signing to Universal Republic Records--so too has his onstage persona. The usually reserved and notoriously shy crooner was visibly relaxed and more comfortable, even compared to recent appearances like Drake's October's Very Own Festival in Toronto this summer. He spun and danced around his newly-expanded set featuring a full band, large flashing light fixtures and huge projectors featuring flickering images of beautiful models in all forms of lovesick.
The hour-plus set of songs from his critically-acclaimed House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence stayed true to the woozy originals. "High For This," "Rolling Stone" and "Morning" proved to be fan favorites but it was The Weeknd's bar-stealing coo ("Take your nose off my keyboard...") on Drake's "Crew Love" which turned the crowd out, only heightened by the thump of live percussion.
Though three new songs are slated for his upcoming Trilogy and he just dropped "Enemy" prior to the show, none of this new material was performed; he did however treat fans to a heartbreaker introduced recently in Chicago dubbed by the blogosphere as "The Birds Part 3."
Engulfed by adoration, the singer said at one point that the NYC show almost never happened due to doctor's orders to take rest. But his love for his ardent fans superseded health. "I looked him in his eyes and said 'Fuck that,'" he recalled defiantly to the cheering crowd.