Spending five hours watching The Weeknd perform on Sunday, June 4 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey made dozing through classes the next day all worth it.
When The Weeknd announced tour dates for his new album “Starboy: Legend of the Fall”, I decided that it was high time for my first big concert. My mom and I bought tickets near the back in section 103 for $100 each. Our tickets and two free CD copies of “Starboy” arrived in the mail and confirmed our exciting trip to Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
The Weeknd, also referred to as Starboy, has humble beginnings as an artist in 2010 who anonymously posted some of his songs to YouTube. His talent gathered lots of positive attention, which allowed him to share his hit albums including “Trilogy,” “Kiss Land,” and “Beauty Behind the Madness.” He has won several Grammys for his outstanding songs, and he began his tour to promote his newest album, “Starboy.”
Freshman Richard Huang says, “His music really flows and sounds together. The Weeknd’s music also has a nice feel to it, like I could listen to it whenever, and I could just randomly start dancing.”
After over a month of anxious waiting, the concert date finally arrived, and we began driving at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday to get a head start on the crowds.
Not many of the fans had arrived at the venue yet, so it was fairly easy to grab a spot in a parking garage for $40. Workers were friendly and pointed out a hallway in the garage that would lead straight to the venue.
We only had to wait for 30 minutes, along with 20 other attendees, before they let us in at 6:30 p.m. Security was similar to that of an airport; we all went through metal detectors, officers looked through bags, and any outside foods or drinks were not permitted and were thrown out.
With an hour to spare before the concert began, we roamed around Prudential Center. Merchandise tables were already set up, so we tried our best to get in line before it got too crowded. Prices ranged from $40 to over $100, so we stuck to purchasing a t-shirt for $40.
Right next to the seats, there was a bar area with a couple of tables to sit in, so we bought some sodas and got comfortable. My mom also bought an Auntie Anne’s pretzel to share for a pricey $8. Many stands selling ice cream, fast-food, cookies, and more were set up throughout the halls of Prudential Center to feed thousands of hungry fans.
Looking for our section was a bit of a hassle, but when we were finally pointed in the right direction, we quickly sat down and waited for the show to begin.
The opening acts included rappers Free 6lack, Belly, and Rae Sremmurd performing hits such as “No Flex Zone” and “Come Get Her.” They rapped for two hours before The Weeknd finally made his appearance.
The crowd went wild as the large set piece above the stage lit up and moved to reveal The Weeknd on stage. He started the act with the song “Starboy” and included many fan favorites such as “In The Night,” “Can’t Feel My Face,” and “I Feel It Coming.” He even performed “Black Beatles” with Sremmurd at his side, a song that was a part of a social media trend where people posed and acted like statues, know as the Mannequin Challenge.
Freshman Mahi Purohit says, “I was pretty disappointed that Rae Sremmurd did not sing ‘Black Beatles’ during the opening performance, which is a popular song. Randomly, during The Weeknd’s performance, they came out and started singing it with Abel. Throughout the whole show, I couldn’t get a smile off my face, and I wish it never had to end.”
The huge, bright set piece changed colors and moved around to fit the themes of each song, which was definitely a unique and beautiful sight to see. Many lasers and lights gave us the futuristic, dark mood that most of his songs give off.
The Weeknd truly loves his fans, which was evident as he repeatedly thanked the crowd for all of their support. He truly loves music and singing, and that passion is then shared with his fans, creating an exciting and fun atmosphere.
Freshman Keya Pai says, “The Weeknd has a great passion for singing. He pours his heart out into creating music that attracts fans all over the world. His music reveals the true meaning of love through hardships, heartbreak, and commitment. He shows how much one can go through just for their significant other. I personally love his music, and I never get tired of listening to him.”
The crowd was already full of energy and good vibes, but the most thrilling moment was when he performed “The Hills” as his encore piece. The sheer volume of everyone’s screams was incredible. I’ve never heard anything that loud in my life.
Seeing The Weeknd live has definitely been the highlight of my year, and I appreciate having such a wonderful and easygoing experience at Prudential Center. Walking out the stadium with a smile on my face and no hearing in my left ear was worth it for the memories I’ll cherish for life.
If you have ever seen The Weeknd live, how was your experience? Why do people enjoy attending concerts?