The Weeknd began the second leg of the tour from his recent Billboard chart-topping album, Starboy, with a memorable performance at the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday night. The Toronto-born singer followed a star-studded opening lineup, as NAV and Gucci Mane opened the night.
NAV is fresh off the release of his mixtape ‘Perfect Timing’ with Metro Boomin. The project helped NAV break into the mainstream, reaching number 13 on the Billboard Charts.
The crowd really woke up during “Did You See NAV”, bobbing their heads along to the electronic drums. His song “Minute” featuring Playboi Carti and Offset also had the audience pretty amped up for the opening performer. The solid opening act finished with NAV performing his first breakout single “Myself.”
“Fresh out tha feds” and onto the stage after NAV was Gucci Mane. Following his May 2016 release from prison, Gucci dropped three well-received hip-hop projects, collaborating with the likes of Future and Metro Boomin. His most recent release, DropTopWop, featured other popular artists including the Migos and Rick Ross.
The most memorable part of Gucci’s performance was probably a toss up between the Atlanta-native’s verse on “Slippery,” a Migos track that he’s featured in, and “First Day Out,” which was Gucci’s first song released post-incarceration.
Much to my surprise Gucci didn’t perform many songs from DropTopWop. Instead, he switched up his setlist with a blend of old and new. He alternated between classics like “I Might Be” and new jams like “Helpless”. Although Gucci Mane is a standout rapper, he never really seemed to have the Bryce Jordan Center as crazy as you’d expect for the Brick Squad-label artist.
The Weeknd blew away the crowd when it was time for him to step onto the stage. Similar to the floating stage we saw during last fall’s Kanye West concert, this concert featured suspended LED boards above the stage that provided an amazing visual show. The shape of the boards closely imitated the cross logo used as a secondary design on the “Starboy” album.
The singer performed songs from many of his past works. From “Low Life” on Future’s “EVOL” album, to “Often” on the Weeknd’s own “Beauty Behind The Madness” album, the Canadian had the crowd locked in from the beginning of the set. He continued to mix up his setlist, jumping from newer songs like “Sidewalks” to “Wicked Games” from the “Trilogy” album.
To end the night, The Weeknd finished by playing mega-hits “Can’t Feel My Face” and “I Feel It Coming.” As the last few notes of the Daft Punk collaboration rang out, the artist stood to a thunderous ovation from the crowd. The audience’s behavior of honoring the performer was very similar to Kanye’s closing performance of “Ultralight Beam,” as he simply stood still to soak in the moment.
The trio of artists filled the Bryce Jordan Center and jammed out with their screaming fans in an awesome first big performance of the fall. This concert will definitely set the bar high for other concerts coming to Penn State this school year.