The Weeknd wins over a vicious crowd with a blazing performance of “Can’t Feel My Face” in the simple, but riveting, new video for the R&B singer’s summer hit, which arrived via Apple Music’s Connect.
The clip, directed by Grant Singer, opens on a closeup of The Weeknd — real name Abel Tesfaye — the center of his face lit as he croons the song’s stirring opening bars. When the beat finally drops, Tesfaye springs into action and the camera jumps back to reveal his impassioned performance is for a crowd of disinterested, seated lounge lizards.
Save for a sole riveted female onlooker, the crowd remains tepid and a few patrons start hurling their drinks at Tesfaye, who nevertheless refuses to relent. When “Can’t Feel My Face” reaches its subdued bridge, one ornery man toys with a lighter and chucks it at Tesfaye — the singer suddenly catches on fire, sending the whole room into enflamed ecstasy.
While the Weeknd does offer a fire performance of “Can’t Feel My Face” in the new video, the singer may have been one-upped Monday night by Tom Cruise, who delivered an equally rapturous rendition during a “Lip Sync Battle” on The Tonight Show. Even Tesfaye copped to the actor’s prowess, tweeting, “that shit got me hype… lol I can’t lie.”
As of Tuesday, “Can’t Feel My Face,” was situated at Number Two on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s the latest in a string of hits, including Fifty Shades of Grey‘s “Earned It” and “The Hills,” that have marked the Weeknd’s transition from indie favorite to rising pop star.
The Weeknd will release his second studio LP, The Beauty Behind the Madness on August 28th. He’s currently scheduled to play Lollapalooza this weekend in Chicago and will headline the Budweiser Made in America Festival over Labor Day weekend, September 5th, in Philadelphia.