Let’s get it out of the way. The Weeknd gave a perfectly polished Super Bowl halftime performances that ran through his impressive roster of hits and showcased some great live vocals. It was also an amazing feat for an artist who just ten years ago was self-releasing mixtapes to little notice outside of indie music heads and Pitchfork writers. No one who was directing the Beach House and Cocteau Twins samples on his first release House of Balloons in 2011 could have possibly imagined he’d end up here. And to think at one point you thought him dating Bella Hadid was a big deal…
Yet, visually and thematically the performance was pretty much a straightforward continuation of his recent After Hours era. Abel Tesfaye himself wasn’t wearing bandages on his face, but his backup dancers were. With no special guests either, it lacked the sense of surprise and spectacle of other recent halftime performances.
Though, one moment, in particular, seemed to catch the attention of the internet’s varied meme makers. Tesfaye journeyed backstage into a specially constructed gold room and took us on a dizzying and slightly destabilizing tour via handheld camera. We’re sure some who had a bit too many Miller Lites and buffalo wings didn’t appreciate the jerky journey through a room full of lights, but at least it made for some good memes.
Of course, there were a few other choice reactions unrelated to that specific moment.