The Weeknd

The Weeknd Turns Up the Heat at Coachella

Three years after making his Coachella debut, The Weeknd returned to the desert to close out the second day of the festival. Hot on the heels of his colossal single “Earned It” off the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack and Ariana Grande duet “Love Me Harder,” anticipation was running high for the Canadian crooner’s late-night set.

The crowd certainly “earned it,” as The Weeknd hit the red-lit stage slightly after 11:45 p.m. Abel, with his hair in perfectly-laid chaos, opened with a rock-tinged rendition of “High for This.”

“Can I get sexy for you, Coachella? Can I get on top of you, Coachella?” he sang with sultry intent, as the stage lighting changed from red to white.

Abel partially rapped “Glass Table Girls,” bringing the 707 out over crowd shrieks. A mix of tracks were bookended by his first release, 2011’s House of Balloons and his latest, 2013’s Kiss Land—where stuttering basslines on “Belong to the World” offered an anthemic feel to the song. As the long monitor shifted colors throughout the set, the schemes matched the tracks—from turning greenish and lava-esque on “The Morning” to a red light return on the stripper anthem “Remember You.” If synesthesia is real, it was clearly exhibited here.

The crowd chanted word for word through collaborative songs like “Crew Love,” “Or Nah (Remix),” “Love Me Harder,” and the aforementioned “Remember You,” including a remix to Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love” and a new song, which he performed for the first time. It was all Abel all day, amidst a sea of XO hand gestures.

He closed out his feverish 55-minute set with the biggest hit of his career thus far, “Earned It,” which is currently No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“This is the greatest night of my whole life,” The Weeknd told the crowd. “Nothing is better than this moment right here.”

—Kathy Iandoli

The Weeknd Coachella Set List

“High for This”
“House of Balloons / Glass Table Girls”
“Belong to the World”
“The Morning”
“Remember You”
“The Zone”
“Crew Love”
“Or Nah (Remix)”
New Untitled Song
“Drunk in Love (Remix)”
“Love Me Harder”
“The Birds (Part 1)”
“Wicked Games”
“Earned It”