A year and a half after his Super Bowl halftime show at Raymond James, The Weeknd returned to Tampa for his After Hours Til Dawn stadium tour. And what a battle it was to get there.
The singer meant to hit Tampa in 2020 for a tour celebrating his “After Hours” album. It was pushed back multiple times thanks to the pandemic, then canceled and rebranded the After Hours Til Dawn tour (by the time it was deemed safe enough to tour, he’d already dropped another album, 2022′s Dawn FM). Doja Cat was set to open, but pulled out.
On Thursday, a thunderstorm threatened the long-awaited outdoor show. Inclement weather around 6 p.m. forced the stadium to temporarily close its parking lots and cancel the first opener, Mike Dean. A traffic jam surrounded the stadium for hours. The Weeknd came onstage about 20 minutes late, giving eager fans extra time to get inside.
We do not have a full review: This reporter was stuck in said traffic jam for two hours and there was not a ticket as promised for her when she finally did arrive. Still, photographer Luis Santana captured moments from the first few songs as The Weeknd emerged into a sold-out stadium from fog and colored lights. Here’s what he saw.