US R&B singer performed to just 200 fans on Osea Island last night (July 21)
The Weeknd debuted new song ‘Mood Music 2’ while playing a hit-packed set to a select crowd on Essex’s Osea Island last night (July 21). See fan-shot footage below.
His only UK show of 2015, the intimate and exclusive gathering was made up of 200 competition winners and around 200 industry, staff and media guests. It was part-album launch, part-Island Records summer party and part-reconnaissance mission for the label with a view of potentially staging future events on Osea.
Arriving by helicopter earlier that evening with his three-person band in tow, Abel Tesfaye took to the stage around 10pm, launching straight into a hat-trick of crowd-pleasers. All taken from his major label breakthrough of 2012, the platinum-selling compilation ‘Trilogy’, he played album opener ‘High For This’, ‘House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls’ and ‘The Morning’, before rolling out a powerful version of Beyonce’s ‘Drunk in Love’.
As Tesfaye’s impressive falsetto cut through the booming instrumentation – the island’s venue of choice was a converted bomb shelter – he thanked everyone for comin before unveiling a brand new, as-yet-unheard track from his forthcoming second album, ‘The Beauty Behind The Madness’, out August 28 on Universal Music Group imprint Republic Records/XO. The temporarily titled love song ‘Mood Music 2’ was debuted to impassioned screams of “We love you Abel!” as Tesfaye crooned through trademark lyrics like “I’m a prisoner to my addiction”.
A symbolic nod to the Canadian singer’s impressive rise from mixtape artist to major-label superstar, the show ended with the three tracks which just last week helped him set a Billboard record. ‘The Hills’, ‘Earned It’ – featured on the soundtrack to Fifty Shades of Grey – and ‘Can’t Feel My Face’.
NME spoke to competition winner Andrea Goncalves after the show. “I have seen Abel play a few times in London, from the O2 to Wireless Festival, but I really enjoyed this gig as it was so intimate,” she said. “The whole vibe was amazing and Abel was insanely good! I was really looking forward to ‘Wicked Games’ but I can’t complain because he smashed it and I loved how he mixed old and new tracks.”
The Weeknd played:
‘High For This’
‘House of Balloons/Table Girls’
‘Drunk In Love’
‘Mood Music 2’
‘Can’t Feel My Face’