The Weeknd Brings Out Kendrick Lamar, Shows Off Style & Heart at Vevo Concert in Los Angeles

Erika Goldring/Getty Images
The Weeknd performs at the Voodoo Music Festival at City Park on Oct. 28, 2016 in New Orleans. 

On a cold Saturday night in 41-degree weather (Dec 18), Los Angeles feels like another city as lucky ticket holders who stood in line the week prior (Dec. 10) to score exclusive access to a free show wait once more in a three-block long line to get into the LA Hangar Studios. Setting up shop on the eastside of L.A., the music and entertainment platform Vevo filmed Vevo Presents: The Weeknd, turning the warehouse into a tricked out performance space for the superstar. In an elaborate production featuring a full 360 LED screen of rotating images and content as well as a full bar available to patrons, Vevo gave real fans of the Weeknd (who were willing to camp out not once, but twice, in the cold for him) a treat for the night. 

Emerging onto the stage just past 9 p.m., the Weeknd quickly got straight into the hits, starting off with "Starboy." The crowd went wild as he took them through the highlights of his catalogue and cuts from his new album Starboy, including "Party Monster," "Reminder," "False Alarm," "Often," "Acquainted," "The Hills," "I Can't Feel My Face" and "Sidewalks" -- for which he brought surprise guest Kendrick Lamar to the stage. It was evident by loud screams, phones in the air recording every minute and anxiousness to get as close to the stage as possible that Abel knows what the youth wants in music.

Far from the 2011 dark and emo version of himself, the Toronto singer no longer has to wander through his hometown getting into trouble, instead opting to accept and walk fully into the path of an international superstar (who was congratulated by legendary hitmaker Quincy Jones on Twitter for being No. 1 in 80 countries upon the release of Starboy). Here's five reasons why the Weeknd is not his hair, and his "star" continues shining ever bright.

He's Got the Range
In the Dec. 17 issue of Billboard, the singer spoke of early stage fright performing for a live audience. "I used to be very nervous, especially about performing on TV. It’s usually just nerves when ­somebody sounds bad. People who become famous for singing are usually pretty good at ­singing." Speculating on what has helped him vocally, he said, "I think being known helps the nerves." Saturday night's performance proved the singer fits more comfortably in his voice and hits high notes and runs with ease while his tone delightfully comes off strong and controlled.

He's Got the Presence
Starting off as a recluse who hid his face, it's a dramatic change to now behold an artist who jumps up and down on the stage, and effortlessly switches between dance moves and interactions with the crowd. The crooner didn't lose the quality of his voice at Saturday concert, and at one point he looked up toward the sky, perhaps giving a higher power attention. No one was left "untouched" when the show concluded. 

He's Got the Style
Looking good is feeling good, and there's certainly a difference in the Weeknd's sense of style that brings an added confidence to the singer. Rocking a cross necklace, gold satin Landlord jacket, and black shirt and jeans, the singer's clean and neutral look provides the necessary polished appearance to elevate his presence while not completely distracting from his talent. It's stylish and chic, but very authentic and complimentary of his new hairstyle as well. 

He's Got the Heart
Rarely open to granting interviews (besides with the Wall Street Journal in in November and Billboard in December of this year), the Starboy singer showed a tender side during the show, thanking fans for coming. "Every f---ing time y'all show me so much love. We never even promoted this shit. Y'all just came through. I had to make sure I give you guys a free concert because I love you so much." As a Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated and Billboard chart-topping artist, the singer doesn't forget a key factor in staying relevant and relatable -- being appreciative to the fans. 

He's Got the Juice: A Surprise Guest
A collaborator with many artists -- including Kanye West, Lana Del Rey, Travis Scott, and more -- the Toronto native surprised guests with L.A. native and hip-hop royalty Kendrick Lamar, who came out and christened the stage with his verse to "Sidewalks." In an October interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1, the Weeknd spoke at length about his excitement getting a chance to work with him in the studio, boldly stating, "He really is a genius." The Weeknd showed the ultimate respect to the Compton MC, making him the sole performer other than himself during a show in his hometown. Job well done. 

 

DAAAAMN that just happened! @theweeknd just brought out @kendricklamar #vevopresents #XO #theweeknd

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