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STADIUM ARCADIUM:
A WILD WEEKND IN TAMPA

The game was a slog unless you’re a Brady or Bucs fan (or you hit the jackpot in the HITS office pool, as JJ Garcia did), but, as quarterback of the halftime show, The Weeknd went deep and scored.

In a series of elaborate set pieces, Abel Tesfaye reached back to his early days as an avant-garde Toronto provocateur. As this year's model of The Weekend—the persona that evolved from those noirish, enigmatic beginnings—he was cool and suave yet relatably human throughout the allocated 14 minutes.

He sang his ass off (no lip syncing required), and the climactic storming-the-field segment that morphed into “Blinding Lights” came off like an unlikely homage to Jordan Peele’s Us, with its oncoming phalanx of masked/bandaged, identically red-garbed zombies. The progression that freaky scene conjured up, the mood shape-shifting from mortal dread to ecstasy in an instant, played out with the precision of the Bucs offense on this February evening, as Tesfaye and his team visualized and soundtracked the feeling of uplift and relief everyone has been fervently hoping for.

If any doubt remained that “Blinding Lights” is the song/record of the year—and of right now—The Weeknd eradicated it on Super Bowl Sunday in front of tens of millions of eyewitnesses. By the time the game ended, it was back at #1 on iTunes, one of seven of his songs in the Top 10.

SHINE ON, HARVEST HITS LIST
An equinox to remember (9/24a)
CARLESS TO DRIVE WARNER A&R
Steve-O takes the wheel. (9/24a)
GRAMMY CHEW: AOTY WILD CARDS
Going deep like Tom Brady (9/24a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
THE LUCIAN DECADE
A history lesson from I.B. Bad (9/23a)
SIR LUCIAN TURNS IT UP
As UMG goes solo, Grainge discusses leading the band. (9/20a)
HITS' 35TH ANNIVERSARY
A chronicle of the inexplicable.
GRAMMY: ALBUM OF THE YEAR
We make yet more predictions, which you are free to ignore.
2022 TOURS
May we all be vaxxed by then.
ROCK'S NEW CHAPTER
Power pop, global glam and the return of the loud.
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