If you’ve been paying any attention to The Weeknd for the last year you may have noticed a few things: the same red suit jacket and black clothes and a bloodied nose and face. You read right, he’s been making live appearances wearing the same outfit and with makeup and prosthetics to appear bloodied. He’s essentially been telling a story over the course of 10 or 12 music videos and live performances. I’m not sure I can think of a case where someone has sustained a character AND story arc across this many videos.
I’ve compiled those videos below in what I
think is the correct order. Some are, uhm, explicit. I’m not sure if this is the last of the videos, but if any more are released I’ll add them to this post.
The character is seen driving and we learn the title of the album.
Arrival in Vegas. Perhaps some inspiration from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and a touch of Casino? At this stage there are no injuries.
Starts where the last one ends, lost and stumbling in Vegas. The character is again seen driving and beaten by bouncers, acquiring his facial injuries. He also dons black driving gloves see in (almost) all of the remaining videos. This feels heavily influenced by both Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker performances.
Until I Bleed Out
The character appears at a party, injured, and somewhat out of it. He winds up unconscious in the desert, still wearing the gloves and has now added tape to his nose.
Snowchild appears to mostly be in the character’s imagination while he’s unconscious in the desert from the previous video. Includes flashbacks to The Weeknd’s past and career. The nose tape is present, but the gloves aren’t.
Heartless (feat.Lil Uzi Vert) Intermission
This is most likely unused footage compiled to make a video, but it works here. Why? It’s called Intermission and because we’ve already seen most of what’s occurred. There’s a jump from Until I Bleed Out/Snowchild to the next video, so this helps bridge the two.
Blinding Lights (Live on Jimmy Kimmel Live)
Technically fits in before After Hours (Short Film), since that video starts with an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live
After Hours (Short Film)
This video serves as a bridge from one video to the next and does not include a performance or a full song. We see the character’s emotions and motivations change.
In Your Eyes
This video picks up where the last one ends, The Weeknd is see boarding an elevator with a man and a woman. This one is basically a slasher/horror theme.
Picking up where the last one ended, the story continues the horror theme. Whereas the previous video was fairly ’70s/’80s influenced, this one feels more contemporary.
Save Your Tears / In Your Eyes (live)
Given the bandages, this could probably be slotted here (between Too Late and Save Your Tears).
Save Your Tears
The character is back and looking a bit different (including the red jacket). Other notable live performances and videos
Probably one of the slickest late night TV musical performances I’ve seen
This doesn’t quite fit in to the story like the others, but the scale is impressive!
Even this duet holds a key to the story!
I compiled all of the videos into a YouTube playlist from the sequence outlined above.