Abel Tesfaye — donning the red suit, black leather gloves and bloody face that’s been the motif of his upcoming album After Hours — first performed his single “Blinding Lights.” The Weeknd’s late-night spots this cycle have all been fourth wall–breaking performances, and the SNL guest spot continued that trend with a mirrored stage that often reflected the SNL crew and audience.
The Weeknd and Oneohtrix Point Never’s Daniel Lopatin — both Uncut Gems stars, Tesfaye as actor and Lopatin as composer — debuted their new collaboration, the atmospheric ballad “Scared to Live,” packed with synths reminiscent of Oneohtrix Point Never’s score from the acclaimed Safdie Brothers film. As of Sunday morning, the likely After Hours-bound track, which interpolates Elton John’s “Your Song,” had not been released on streaming services.
Outside his performances, the Weeknd formed a trio with SNL’s Kenan Thompson and Chris Redd for an R&B song about sleeping on the couch after a lovers spat:
Now an SNL tradition, the Weeknd — in his third time serving as musical guest — also dropped by Weekend Update to give them a brief Weeknd Update:
A brief history of TheWeeknd Update.
2020 ➡️ 2016 ➡️ 2015 pic.twitter.com/auxEQ00O7x
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) March 8, 2020