If there’s one thing we know about the Weeknd from hits like “Can’t Feel My Face” and “Party Monster,” it’s that he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t go down until the sun comes up. Naturally, the Canadian alternative-R&B crooner fit right in with the Bonnaroo crowd, closing the festival with a headlining set of earth-shaking bangers and seductive sad-boy jams.
The 75-minute set was a last hurrah for thousands of Bonnaroovians who’d braved four days of performances, EDM sets that could lasted beyond 3:00 a.m and the Tennessee heat. Many exhausted festivalgoers looked like they couldn’t feel their faces or their legs, but the Weekend was like an adrenaline shot. As soon as the centerpiece of the singer’s stage show – a gigantic, shape-shifting suspended triangle made of steel and LED lights that shot off bursts of pyro – came to life, so did the crowd. The singer received a huge welcome as he made his entrance with an opening “Starboy.”
The crowd turned into a wheat-field-in-a-windstorm sea of bouncing bodies and roof-raising hands, swaying to a grinding version of “Six Feet Under.” With smoothed-out beats and a suave falsetto that never falters, the Weeknd, even during the more lit moments, brought a refreshing element of chill to a day of aggressive sets from the likes of Travis Scott, Skepta and Flatbush Zombies. Momentary pandemonium broke out when someone set off a fire extinguisher in the middle of the Flatbush moshpit earlier in the day, and Scott all but drowned out simultaneous tent stage performances with a punishingly loud Which Stage show.
But one of the bummers of the fest-closing Weeknd set is that it didn’t feature any guest appearances, especially since collaborators Travis Scott and Belly appeared earlier in the day. Not that the Weeknd couldn’t carry the show on his own: Watching the colors rain down as festivalgoers threw glow sticks into the air by the handful and two fireworks shows erupted overhead during victory-lap hits like “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills” was a great way to watch the 16th Bonnaroo go out.
The Weeknd Set List
“Six Feet Under”
“Tell Your Friends”
“In the Night”
“Can’t Feel My Face”
“I Feel It Coming”