The Weeknd at 1STBANK Center, 9/20/13

Categories: Concert Reviews

Brandon Marshall

Though visually heightened by flashes of naked, writhing women and feeling rather Internet-manic with its placement of faux-commercials for condoms between songs, the Weeknd's show at 1STBANK Center was simply okay. But for fans of the Toronto-based musician and his steady stream of mixtapes and albums since 2011, the show was long-awaited, as Abel Tesfaye made his first-ever appearance in Colorado.

Brandon Marshall

Prized for his disarmingly seductive and simultaneously degrading lyrics, Tesfaye's charm was overshadowed by the cheap and cheerful LED porn that played out behind him -- in a massive ten-screen statement, one that felt worth ignoring. It was as if the show was set up to diminish the genius in his lyrics, depreciating the context by sidling up songs like "Love In The Sky" and "Loft Music" against the exploitative imagery.

Brandon Marshall

But before all of that, there was opener Banks, who went on promptly at 8 p.m. and closed it down in less than thirty minutes. The L.A. based singer had a gorgeous voice, but it seemed lost in the big room. Her minimal accompaniment didn't help either, as she wandered the desolate stage projecting "Fall Over" and "Warm Water" into the air.

Brandon Marshall

Banks' cover of Lauryn Hill's "Ex-Factor" was definitely a highlight, lifting her voice up and out of the arena's dead space. Her between song banter was effortful and awkward, as the singer's voice boomed above the silent crowd like a voice-over in a commercial. Portishead played between Banks' and the Weeknd's sets, as if to highlight her good but fairly unmoving and slim vocal performance.

Brandon Marshall

The Weeknd made his appearance from behind a large screen after 9 p.m., and the drama of the set-up was perfect. But shortly after, the screens went from dim to oversaturated, harsh pinks and neon greens blazing into the dark. His voice shot through to his audience immediately, connecting with the screams from a female-dominated crowd. "Belong To The World" and "The Town" boomed, Tesfaye conducting the lights and beats with raised arms.

Location Info


1STBANK Center

11450 Broomfield Lane, Broomfield, CO

Category: Music

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
Arturo Acosta III
Arturo Acosta III

I had a coworker go and said it was a good time. good band, cool aesthetics, overall pretty tight. i still haven't made it out to the broomfield event center. i need to expand my venue horizons.

Matt Aragon Shafi
Matt Aragon Shafi

I feel like the writer of this article is biased. I enjoyed the show. He was fantastic admittedly the venue was too big for this kind of show. The lights were amazing.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault