The Weeknd‘s spaced-out and delirious performance of his new single “Heartless” on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert will make your cerebellum do origami. It was wild, to say the absolute least, and you’ll probably grow a phobia for long, winding corridors. When it ends, you’ll say “huh?” and scratch the left side of your head, wondering where the trick was at. That’s what makes it so endearing.
Colbert introduced The Weeknd by panning the camera to where the singer was supposed to be onstage. The host’s band looked back at him curiously, and then Colbert himself began to wonder where The Weeknd was. The cameraman then goes to look for the singer, who’s apparently in the back enjoying a cocktail before the show. So he won’t get lost again, the camera follows his journey to the stage. Neither of them could have had a clue about the journey that they would be undertaking.
The Weeknd trades in the glass for a microphone and gives an impromptu performance of “Heartless” on his way to the stage, jumping, thrusting, and sliding like some kind of dancing magician trying to loosen his legs for the real show.
It’s here that things get weird.
The lights begin to flicker whenever he moves, and suddenly, entire stretches of hallway begin to shift into nothingness. But out of the black void comes other hallways and whenever they change, the lights cycle from a neon blue to the red of a fire truck’s siren. Before long, The Weeknd isn’t even worried about getting to the stage; he’s fully immersed himself in this in-between realm, having a blast playing the song while he’s literally lost in late-night show limbo.
As he finishes the song, he continues to walk down one of the many changing hallways and he, surprisingly, ends up on the stage of Colbert, ready to perform for real this time. And yet, no time has passed since he came from backstage before his performance. You’re left with so many trans-dimensional and time-traveling questions that you have no choice but to give a slow clap to the singer for scrambling your brain like that.
The Weeknd released “Heartless” in November. He shared the trippy video for it earlier this month along with another single, “Blinding Lights.”
Check out The Weeknd’s wild performance on Colbert up above.