Starboy Shines His Light on Kansas City

Starboy Shines His Light on Kansas City

Photos: Morgan Jones 

Photos: Morgan Jones 

Abel TesFaye, known as The Weeknd, smashed his debut in Kansas City last night. The Canadian native started his sixth tour early this year, Starboy: Legend of the Fall; selling out arenas in France, England, Germany, Canada, and the United States. As soon as you walk into the arena you can tell this tour is not like any other. The main stage is triangular and fades out into a long catwalk that is projected into the floor of the crowd. High above the catwalk is a large triangular light fixture. PNDA, NAV, and Gucci Mane warmed up the crowd before The Weeknd took the stage last night.

PNDA electrified the crowd with a DJ set of some of the most popular rap songs at the moment, like "Bad and Boujee", "Fake Love", "HUMBLE.", and "Bodak Yellow." While PNDA played these top charters, he had a drum kit and pad that added beats and sounds to the song. For being the first opener PNDA was able to catch the attention of the crowd with ease every time the beat dropped. NAV was up next after PNDA, he came out wearing a dark pair of sunglasses and a chain around his neck. NAV was able to excite the crowd with his electronic, auto tuned, R&B hits like "Myself" and "Up". The real party started when Gucci Mane came onto the stage, decked out in his usual bejeweled jacket and plethora of chains. The crowd took to their feet immediately and started rapping along to songs like "Met Gala" and "I Get the Bag". Throughout the entire of Gucci’s 35 minute set, the crowd became more lively and almost all the Sprint Center’s seats were filled. Gucci announced that his set was over and the crowd was left to sit in anticipation for the main act. At 9:35 sharp all the lights of the Sprint Center were cut off and the triangular light fixture above the catwalk began to lower to the stage. Screams of excitement filled the air as the triangular light fixture was not only lowered onto the stage but started to transform into a Starship. The starship began to lift up and The Weeknd’s hit, "Starboy", began to play. The lights dimmed and were brought up once more to show The Weeknd on the stage. He strutted the catwalk and smiled while he sung for the first time ever on Kansas City Soil. 

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Throughout the night The Weeknd graciously thanked everyone at the show for making his first time in Kansas City amazing. The majority of his set list came from his last two albums, Starboy and Beauty Behind the Madness. Lucky for his fans, The Weeknd sounds even better live and was hitting riffs and high notes with ease all throughout the show. One of my favorites of the night was when he slowed things down and sung "Ange"l, one of his favorite songs off of Beauty Behind the Madness. The emotion and pain really broke through while he was crooning out the lyrics of this R&B ballad. 

Production wise this tour is above any other show I have ever seen. It is obvious that this tour was made for large arena’s like the Sprint Center. The triangular light fixture continually transformed the entire night like origami; shifting and molding while the Weeknd sang his heart out. The back lighting was phenomenal and gave the audience a chance at seeing the Weeknd clearly no matter where they were seated. The long and narrow catwalk made an arena feel smaller and more intimate which is extremely hard to do. At the end of the night I think the majority of the people that witnessed The Weeknd’s show could say that it was one of the best shows they have ever seen in Kansas City. The Weeknd raised the bar for Arena tours and live vocal performance. The Weeknd was most certainly the star of Kansas City last night and the Starboy of modern R&B/Pop. 

Watch the video for "Secrets" below and check out his remaining tour dates here

STAFF PICK: warm glow by Hippo Campus

STAFF PICK: warm glow by Hippo Campus