Why The Weeknd’s Dancers All Had Bandages on Their Faces During His Halftime Show

The Weeknd headlined the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday, February 7, and he was phenomenal. That should come as a surprise to no one. I mean, it’s The Weeknd! 

It also shouldn’t surprise people that he incorporated some visuals from his After Hours album era, namely his dancers were all wearing bandages on their faces. 

No, no, they weren’t actually hurt; it’s all part of the story he’s telling with his recent music videos. The basic storyline is this: The Weeknd trips while partying in Vegas; then he gets even more hurt…and decapitated. In his music video for “Too Late,” his head is attached to another person’s body. We then saw him at several awards show appearances wearing facial bandages. And finally, in the “Save Your Tears” video, he takes the bandages off. Instead of The Weeknd wearing the bandages this time, he had his dancers do it. 

The Weeknd performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show at Raymond James Stadium on February 07, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. 

Kevin C. Cox

“The significance of the entire head bandages is reflecting on the absurd culture of Hollywood celebrity and people manipulating themselves for superficial reasons to please and be validated,” The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, told Variety.

The biggest hit from The Weeknd’s latest album is “Blinding Lights,” which he revealed the meaning behind in an interview. “[The song is about] how you want to see someone at night, and you’re intoxicated, and you’re driving to this person and you’re just blinded by streetlights,” he told Esquire magazine. “But nothing could stop you from trying to go see that person, because you’re so lonely. I don’t want to ever promote drunk driving, but that’s what the dark undertone is.”

The Weeknd accepts the award for Favorite Soul/R&B Song onstage for the 2020 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 22, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. 

Kevin Winter

Of course, The Weeknd incorporated other older hits into his halftime performance, too, including “Starboy,” “The Hills,” “I Can’t Feel My Face,” and “I Feel It Coming.” 

“We can’t wait to welcome multi-award-winning artist The Weeknd to the Pepsi Super Bowl LV halftime show stage,” Adam Harter, senior vice president of sports, media, and entertainment at PepsiCo., said in a statement when The Weeknd’s performance was announced. “In collaboration with the NFL and Roc Nation, we continue to reimagine what a Pepsi Halftime Show looks like with some of the biggest musicians in the world. We expect The Weeknd will continue to raise the bar, setting a new precedent both musically and visually for the most-watched performance of the year.”

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