The Weeknd, aka Abel Tesfaye, was only three and a half songs and about 15 minutes into his second sold-out night at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium on Saturday night when he abruptly stopped the show around 9:40 p.m.
Citing vocal problems, the 32-year-old superstar tearfully apologized to the 70,000 bewildered and disappointed fans in attendance for not being able to give “the concert that I want to give you right now”, before an anticlimactic exit from the stage.
Tesfaye had just kicked off what he promised would be an electrifying 29-song set with him Dawn FM tracks “Gasoline”, “Sacrifice” and “How Do I Make You Love Me?” when he stopped “Can’t Feel My Face” to hoarsely address the audience.
“I personally want to apologize to you guys. I don’t know what happened as soon as I screamed, but I just lost my voice,” the Weeknd explained. “This is killing me. I don’t want to stop the show. But I can’t give you the gig I want to give you right now. I’ll make sure everyone’s okay — get your money back — but I’ll be doing a show real soon for you guys. But I wanted to come out and personally apologize and not tweet it or Instagram it or whatever. But I want you to know that I cannot give you what I want to give you. … I’m so sorry. I love you guys. Thank you very much.”
Tesfaye, in fact, later took to social media to apologize again, posting: “My voice went out during the first song and I’m devastated. I felt it go and my heart dropped. My deepest apologies to my fans here. I promise to make it up to you with a new date.”
There was a delayed reaction all over the place after the Weeknd made this shocking announcement, with some fans even wondering if it was all part of Tesfaye’s act. Before the concert began, actress Lily-Rose Depp, Tesfaye’s co-star in the upcoming HBO Max series The idolhad shot a scene for The idol on stage at SoFi, appearing in character as she spoke of “a tough year” and referring to Tesfaye’s The idol character, Tedros, as the “love of my life”.
However, once the stadium lights came on about two minutes after Tesfaye’s emotional apology, it became clear that this was no fanciful dramatic scene and that the Weeknd really did cancel the night’s concert.
This isn’t the first time in recent memory that The Weeknd has pulled the plug on a concert date. His tour was originally scheduled to begin, on a smaller scale, in January 2022, but in October 2021 he announced: “Due to arena constraints and the demand for more shows, I want to do something bigger and special for you that requires stadiums .” After pushing the entire tour back to the summer of 2022 so he could refresh and expand his vision, the mega-stage trek ‘After Hours Til Dawn’ was supposed to kick off on July 8 in Tesfaye’s hometown of Toronto. However, that opening night was postponed at the last minute due to a wireless outage at Toronto’s Rogers Centre. The Toronto show was later rescheduled for September 22, with a second night added for September 23.
At press time, a representative for SoFi Stadium had no information on a make-up date for Saturday’s show in Los Angeles and could not confirm rumors — sparked by a video tweet by a fan with the handle @angelhoeface666 — that Kanye West was on standby at SoFi and had planned to join Tesfaye on stage Saturday, presumably to perform their Grammy-winning duet “Hurricane.”
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