You can envy Abel Tesfaye for a lot of reasons, but not for this one: He was trying to make some kind of impact on late-night TV last night, but he was up against Kanye on Kimmel. Still, performing on last night’s episode of the Late Show With David Letterman, Tesfaye made a good go of it, singing the Weeknd’s churning Kiss Land single “Pretty” against a backdrop of flashing blue lights and generally showing that he can be a big-time entertainer without the benefit of a manufactured enigmatic internet presence. Letterman’s Phil Collins reference is so spot-on that he might have a career in music criticism if this whole TV-host thing stops working out. Watch it below.
Kiss Land is out now on Republic. Also, I’ve spent my entire career being Paul Shaffer there: “Certainly. Atmospheric.”