“After Hours til Dawn Tour” kicks off “dancing through purgatory” in Philadelphia

The Weeknd finally kicked off the long-anticipated “After Hours til Dawn Stadium Tour” at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. on Thursday, July 14. The tour came to the city of brotherly love after nationwide phone outage called for the show at the Rogers Centre in Toronto to be postponed.

Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye took to Twitter shortly before the tour kicked off to describe the summer tour as a “sci-fi purgatory” experience.

The tour kicked off Thursday evening with opening acts, Mike Dean and Kaytranada, two DJs who brought the energy and hyped up the crowd.

As the night came closer, the stage was set. A huge moon was inflated at the south end of the stadium, opposite of the cityscape-like stage. Smoke peaked through the lights that were shining on the stage.

After a short wait and growing anticipation, The Weeknd rose from one of the buildings of the cityscape. Wearing a plastic face mask, he kicked off the show with a fiery rendition of his song, “Alone Again” from his record-breaking 2020 album, “After Hours.”

The “After Hours til Dawn Stadium Tour” set included erected buildings and a backdrop to imitate a cityscape, tying into the aesthetic of The Weeknd’s recent albums. Photo / Jennifer McGraw

The show escalated to a chaotic display of dazzling, colorful lights to complement a medley of tracks off of The Weeknd’s recent album, “Dawn FM” – “Gasoline,” “Sacrifice (Remix)” and “How Do I Make You Love Me?”

Fans were pleasantly surprised to hear older songs on tour, as The Weeknd sang “Kiss Land,” “Wicked Games” and “Party Monster,” among others. He sang a plethora of songs off of his “Starboy” album as well.

The Weeknd then sang songs from old and newer albums, keeping the energy high as the night had just begun.

Besides the diverse tracks, an element brought to this dark, apocalyptic dance party that fans probably only saw recently in his Super Bowl Halftime Show is the visuals and dancers.

The stage backdrop showed more cityscapes that added to the aesthetic of both of The Weeknd’s recent albums. Throughout the night, the “city” lights glowed, other times there were visuals in the “sky.” 

The lights on the stage’s runway shined into the sky, giving the illusion of the “Northern lights.”

Lights from the runway shone into the sky. – Photo / Jennifer McGraw

Reminiscent of his Coachella performance, The Weeknd performed “Hurricane” and it gave way to “The Hills” from his 2015 album “Beauty Behind the Madness.” By this point, thunder, lightning and fire consumed the cityscape, burning the erected buildings in the process. This electrifying performance included fire shooting up from the runway. 

If anything had the sold-out stadium of fans hyped up for a performance, it would be this one.

The Weeknd continued singing classics from old and new albums throughout the night. The show was something all fans could enjoy. 

The “Blinding Lights” singer slowed things down to sing “Out of Time” and “I Feel It Coming.” He even made his way over to the platform with the inflated moon in the background to sing “Die For You,” connecting with fans during the few performances he was there.

Into the night, The Weeknd slowed things down one last time before finishing with his newer songs. It wouldn’t be an “After Hours til Dawn Stadium Tour’ if The Weeknd didn’t end with his record-breaking hit single, “Blinding Lights.” The crowd roared once the iconic opening played and lights flashed everywhere and up into the sky. 

The south end of the stage included an inflatable moon. The Weeknd performed on this stage during “Die For You.” – Photo / Jennifer McGraw

Throughout the night, the stadium was lit up with chaotic lights flashing in every direction. The dancers moved in an ominous sort of fashion that tied in well to the aesthetic of the concert. This tour is going to be electrifying, but fans already knew that as they anticipated the long-awaited tour that had to be pushed back due to international circumstances. That being said, the tour was absolutely worth the wait.

If you’re heading to the “After Hours til Dawn Stadium Tour,” you’re in for a treat. There’s something for everyone on this tour, no matter if you’re a new fan or have been a fan for 10 years. Tickets for the tour can be found on The Weeknd’s official website. Proceeds from the tour will benefit the “XO Humanitarian Fund,” powered by the World Food Programme.

2 responses to ““After Hours til Dawn Tour” kicks off “dancing through purgatory” in Philadelphia”

  1. […] “After Hours til Dawn Tour” kicks off “dancing through purgatory” in Philadelphia […]


  2. […] Stay tuned for updates on the tour documentary and check out this review of his opening night in Philly. […]


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