I'd firstly got into The Weeknd in 2011. Someone had sent me his first Mix Tape (House of Balloons) and I never listened to it. On a holiday in Turkey, I'd taken my laptop, and was going through my music collection, where I found an album with artwork of a naked girl, surrounded by Balloons. Upon the first song, I was taken into a world of sleazy RnB, that was unlike anything I'd heard at the time. I became mesmerised, and was spent most of the holiday absorbing it.
Bar one very small gig previously in 2012, this was his first UK tour (he sold our the O2 in November later that year), so was chuffed to get tickets for the Monday. I had a stag do in Madrid over the weekend, so was looking forward to a heavy weekend, a day off, then a gig in the evening. Upon picking the tickets for the gig up on the Thursday morning (I flew out Thursday evening), I realised I'd book the tickets for Sunday night (I was due to land early Sunday evening). My Fiancé (now wife), reasoned that I'd be coming home tired, stinking of alcohol, probably still drunk, and wouldn't be great company, plus I'd not been this excited about a gig in ages, and she had work in the morning, so I should probably go. So I dropped my suitcase off and was straight on the train into Camden.
The gig itself was everything I'd expected and more. His vocals, as good live as on the album. His Band, not only replicating the songs, but turning them into beasts. It's rare that a drummer can nearly steal the show, and less so, 5 years later still remember the drummer, was he so good. For a Sunday night crowd in London, they were singing every word, dancing to every beat. I think everyone knew they were witnessing a talent that could go on to be something massive... quite as massive he became? Maybe not.
His live shows now are still brilliant, but very different to what this was. They have to be, at £70 a ticket, in front of 20,000 people they have to be. But I don't think any show will beat this.
p.s. Sorry the only photo I have of the gig was so terrible!