Between the multiple official videos, late-night TV and eye-popping awards-show performances the Weeknd has done around his latest “After Hours” album, we’ll admit we lost the bad-night-in-Las-Vegas plotline after he got decapitated in the “In Your Eyes” clip in the middle of last year. But the story continues, in a way, in the latest official video for “Save Your Tears,” one of the album’s most single-worthy songs. Watch the video below.
In it, the Weeknd is wearing a modified version of his red-jacketed outfit — and the bruises on his face are gone, although his character has apparently gotten some strange plastic surgery that makes him look kind of like that lion lady. He’s performing in a fancy nightclub filled with formally attired people wearing glittery, full-face masks that recall scenes from Stanley Kubrick’s final film, “Eyes Wide Shut”; his backing band are wearing masks too (that’s one way to work Covid safety protocol into your art!). He wanders out into the motionless, seated crowd, drinking one guy’s champagne and resting his arm on the head of another, until he sees a beautiful, maskless girl in the audience and brings her onstage.
While they start off dancing together happily, eventually the camera reveals that the Weeknd is holding a pistol behind his back — the girl realizes this and screams, but then she’s the one holding the gun, to the Weeknd’s head.
The clip closes with the Weeknd holding the pistol to his own head — and as the song ends, he pulls the trigger, releasing confetti. The crowd applauds politely.
It’s a fitting, more than slightly disturbing and suitably bizarre continuation in a series of highly unconventional promotional videos. Who knows what’s coming next?
And, more to the point, will the narrative continue when the Weeknd performs during the Super Bowl Halftime Show on Feb. 7? Time will tell …