The Weeknd’s All-Ages Softcore Lesbian Porn Nightmare

“I just wanna make it sexy for you tonight Seattle,” Abel Tesfaye cooed in his falsetto as the crowd went nuts.

“I just want to be sexy for you-ou-ou tonight.”

The Weeknd’s sold out show at The Paramount last night felt like being at a headlining show at Sasquatch. If you’ve never heard The Weeknd before, imagine the sad/sexiness of The XX slammed into dubstep, with a sprinkling of Justin Timberlake tossed in. It’s good stuff.

Last night, lead singer Tesfaye and crew went full-seizure with the lights show and stage production, installing multi-panel mega-screens in the rafters of the theatre. The screens projected the gif-worthy dystopian Asian cityscapes that populate the “Kiss Land” world The Weeknd created for its new album. Think if Prince scored Blade Runner.

The crowd was going bananas for the setup, screaming things like “OH MY GOD HE’S KILLING IT,” and “I LOVE YOU THE WEEKND!” all around me as they gulped down alcohol they had snuck in. Everytime a bright light flashed, approximately 100 iPhones shot up in the air to capture the moment. I watched most of the show through other people’s iPhones, which actually worked really well. The production seems like it was meant to be viewed this way.

At one point, Tesfaye performed the entirety of a song while staring into a camera facing away from the crowd. The camera projected his face onto the massive stage screens so that you were surrounded by Tesfaye’s earnest sexy face crooning at you. Looking at the guy’s phone in front of me, I realized I was watching The Weeknd sing to me through a screen, through another screen. Conceptually, that tickeld me.

The show was really good. But halfway through, things got weird.

Another note for those who aren’t familiar with The Weeknd: Tesfaye mostly sings about sad sex. The kind of sex you have when you are famous, and you have to take a bunch of pills to make you feel good enough to have sex. You know, like Hulk Hogan Sex Tape sad sex. Or Corey Feldman Orgy sad sex.

So, when The Weeknd projected full on softcore lesbian porn on the screens behind him, I suppose it made thematic sense. Two Asian women with smeared mascara and bare breasts rolled around on screen, open mouth kissing each other. When this flashed on screen, nobody’s iPhone shot up.

I had forgotten until now that this was an all-ages show. When the porn came on, thus began a mass exodus of parents shuffling their teenaged children through the crowd. Even the of-age folks seemed uncomfortable. The porn wasn’t happy-love porn. It was degrading, sad-sex porn, gross and purposeless.

And it just kept going on. For the entire song, the porn played, getting progressively more graphic until it cut away as one woman was about to go down on the other.

For a 21+ crowd, this would’ve been kind of ok. But for an all-ages show, the whole thing was senseless.

If I’m a parent, and I’m going through the effort to drive my kid from the suburbs up to Seattle to see a band they like that I paid $40 per ticket for, I don’t want to be rewarded by having to talk about the softcore lesbian porn I just witnessed with my child and 2500 other people. I just want to be able to go “that was fun! When I was your age, we used to listen to music songs at concert shows too!” and drive my kid home.

And if I’m a kid going with my parents to see The Weeknd, I don’t want to have to talk to my parents about the lesbian softcore porn I unwittingly watched with them. I’d probably just want to do that myself, in a room, at night. I don’t need The Weeknd to do it for me.

So thanks, The Weeknd, for making a bunch of kids’ big night out a mortifying experience. At least you had dudes dressed up in Anime Teddy Bear costumes in the lobby to soften the blow on the way out.

 
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