The Weeknd's Super Bowl half-time show has set the internet abuzz, with several moments prompting an outpouring of memes.
The Canadian pop star reportedly spent some $7m of his own money to create the backdrop for his performance at the blockbuster occasion – which last drew more than 100 million viewers when headlined by Jennifer Lopez.
“We’ve been really focusing on dialling in on the fans at home and making performances a cinematic experience, and we want to do that with the Super Bowl,” Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd) told Billboard ahead of the show.
It appears to have been money well spent – with fans likely to appreciate the trippy neon set and at-times anxiety-inducing choreography as an ambitious expansion of the themes in his After Hours album.
While his decade-long back catalogue was given the chance to shine through to a degree not always seen among the bombast of Super Bowl appearances, some aspects of the backdrop particularly caught viewers' attention.
As the scenery changed from a Vegas-esque play on the Tampa skyline to a more frenzied world of gold and mirrors for his hit "I Cant Feel My Face", some people felt they could relate in some surprising ways.
Me trying to find the bathroom at the club after 6 or 7 #PepsiHalftime #SuperBowl https://t.co/T2tleRUbR7
— DJ112sa aka the Count of Monte Fisto (@DJ112sa aka the Count of Monte Fisto)
4 year old me in the grocery store looking for my mom. #PepsiHalftime #SuperBowl https://t.co/sdum3jHGui
One of the stand-out visual themes of The Weeknd's performances recently has been his decision to perform with his face covered in bandages, as first witnessed at the American Music Awards in November.
He told Variety that the facial bandages are a progression of the After Hours protagonist's "bad night in Las Vegas" storyline, adding that they are "reflecting on the absurd culture of Hollywood celebrity and people manipulating themselves for superficial reasons to please and be validated".
For his Super Bowl performance, it was not he, but his back-up dancers who were clad in the unique face coverings – sparking some amusement online.
With the NFL having partly filled the Super Bowl stadium with cardboard cut-outs as a result of the pandemic, the costume felt particularly timely to some.