The Weeknd on his live shows: “I want it to feel like opera”

Abel Tesfaye gave an insight into what fans can expect when his world tour stops in the UK in March

The Weeknd has spoken about his touring set-up in a new interview, revealing that he wants his gigs to “feel like [the] opera.”

The Toronto artist released his third studio album, ‘Starboy’, last month. The album, which features Kendrick Lamar, Daft Punk and Lana Del Rey among its credits, performed exceptionally well commercially upon its release – every track from the record charted in the US last week.

In a new interview with Billboard, The Weeknd gave an insight into what kind of stage set-up he’ll adopt when he sets out on the road next year in support of ‘Starboy’ on the ‘Legend of the Fall World Tour’.


“Environment is very important to me,” The Weeknd said. “Sometimes I have to perform during the day for festivals, and my music does not work in the daytime. It is nighttime music. When you come to my show, I want it to feel like opera, like a theatre. The darkness is ­important for me.”

The WeekndWireImage/Getty

He also revealed that he’s working with set designer Es Devlin for his tour – Devlin has notably worked with Kanye West, Beyoncé and Adele on their live set-up.

“Her real passion is theatre and opera. She looks at the job different than every other set designer,” he said. “It’s art – it’s not about ­lighting or crazy effects. It’s about what you’re looking at, and the audience is part of that moment. It’s very three-dimensional. Look at Kanye’s [Saint Pablo] shows – he changed the game. We’re looking at floor seats differently now in arena shows. I want to animate the space like that on this tour.”

The Weeknd’s world tour will hit the UK in March. See the dates below.

Manchester, Arena (March 5)
London, The O2 (March 7, 8)
Glasgow, The SSE Hydro (March 10)
Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena (March 11)
Birmingham, Barclaycard Arena (March 13)
Leeds, First Direct Arena (March 14)