The Weeknd performs in Tampa

September 26, 2013 

The Weeknd is one of the hottest acts in R&B. PUBLICITY PHOTO

The hottest act in R&B in 2013 is Abel Tessfaye, the Canadian singer who goes by the awkward moniker The Weeknd.

After a series of mixtapes collectively called the "Trilogy" (and individually known as "House of Balloons," "Thursday" and "Echoes of Silence") in 2011, the artist whose passport calls him Abel Tessfaye released "Kiss Land," the first official album by The Weeknd, earlier this year.

He's on a short tour of the United States and Canada, called the Kiss Land Tour -- and it's making a stop tonight at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa.

The Weeknd has been praised for his sophisticated compositions and his richly textured, moody sounds -- he's most often compared, favorably, to R. Kelly -- but he's taken some heat for his sexual explicitness and drug-fueled lyrics.

The mixtapes, which he originally made available for free online and then released as the triple-album "Trilogy," made The Weeknd a star before anyone knew much about him. Some early rave reviews referred to The Weeknd as a band.

"Kiss Land" is generally regarded as a worthy follow up.

The opening acts are Banks, an up-and-comer who's been compared to Portishead and Massive Attack, and Australian DJ Anna Lunoe.

Details: 8:30 p.m. Sept. 26, Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Tickets: $48.50 plus service. Information: 813-229-7827, www.strazcenter.org.

-- Marty Clear

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