The Mod Club in Toronto has a capacity of about 600 people. When The Weeknd played there on July 24, 2011 — his first real show and the first where he showed his face — the room was sold-out. The Air Canada Centre, on the other hand, has a capacity of nearly 20,000. In November 2015, just four years on, the 25-year-old singer can book not one, but two nights at the ACC — one of the biggest venues his hometown can supply him.
Ahead of the stadium shows, Tesfaye promoted the release of Beauty Behind the Madness, his second non-mixtape full-length (and carrier for his biggest hit to date), by returning to the Mod Club last week for a performance that pulled from across his catalogue. He even wore a similar camo jacket.
This was a nod at his roots. It was also a nod at his rise — the lyrics to "Tell Your Friends" brought to life. Sure, he used to roam Queen, now he's singing Queen street anthems. And he's a hell of a lot more confident.
And because a landmark moment like this couldn't pass without digital preservation (his original show banned all recording devices, but clips surfaced anyway), VEVO captured it for posterity. You can watch it all below: