The Weeknd-Radio 1 Maida Vale Session

The Weeknd’s been a busy man this week, and he follows up the highly-praised performance on Jools Holland’s show with this 4-track radio performance.

His abilities as a live performer are tested with his choice of songs, and once again he passes with flying colours. Wicked Games is mostly the same as the aforementioned TV performance in terms of quality, and it’s the other three that most will want to go for. The Zone‘s surely one of his most difficult tracks to perform given the sheer variety of vocal deliveries, but he does an excellent job throughout (and in one take!), though the unecessary and sharp guitar blasts in the first third ruin the soft vibe of that segment.

The Knowing is one that has to be delivered with a feathered touch, and the fragility of the track’s lyrics and vocals are captured well in the opening half, and though The Weeknd’s vocals do hit a couple of rough patches toward the final third, the instrumentation is at its peak here in its progressive nature. I wasn’t wholly enamoured with the studio version of Montreal, but this live performance has really brought me around to the track, and again that’s helped greatly by some strong instrumentation work, whilst the vocal work is unerringly consistent throughout this one. A good set of performances throughout, and I hope to hear more soon.

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