However, they weren’t so thrilled to see the singer up on stage looking like he’d been on the losing end of a fight.
The Weeknd showed up sporting a heavily bandaged face, complete with a long scratch near his right eye.
He performed two songs, “Blinding Lights” and “Scared to Live”.
Comments on the SNL Instagram page speculated on the singer’s appearance.
“I’m sure there is a meaning behind the band-aid! I trust and believe!” said one comment.
Another wondered, “Is nobody concerned that he got beat tf up @theweeknd @nbcsnl.”
Viewers also took to Twitter to voice their concerns.
“I’ve never seen you [The Weeknd] before. Why did you have bandages around your face in blood? I saw you tonight on SNL,” read one tweet.
Another commented, “[The Weeknd] need to have the #snl Team. Change his Bandages&Clean his FACE UP!”
However, it appears that the bandages and beat-up look were a reference to After Hours.
A fan took to Twitter to explain, “For everyone who’s wondering, The Weeknd’s face looks bloody & messed up on SNL because he’s promoting his new short film “After Hours”, which precedes his new album of the same name. He wears the same bloody makeup & bandage in the After Hours clip.”
The After Hours clip has been winning over fans since its release on YouTube on March 4, 2020.
For everyone who’s wondering, The Weeknd’s face looks bloody & messed up on SNL because he’s promoting his new short film “After Hours”, which precedes his new album of the same name. He wears the same bloody makeup & bandage in the After Hours clip.
— Rebecca Lodahl (@BeccaLodahl) March 8, 2020
The short film is directed by Anton Tammi, who also directed the music videos “Heartless” and “Blinding Lights”.
The film begins immediately after The Weeknd’s performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in January, sporting a bandaged nose and scratched face. After the performance, he embarks on a disorienting walk through the Los Angeles streets.
As the video goes on, it’s suggested that his mental health deteriorates, possibly due to possession by otherwordly forces.
The video culminates with a heavy implication that The Weeknd murders a couple in an elevator.
The short film is in support of The Weeknd’s upcoming album, also called After Hours.
It’s his third album, following 2016’s Starboy and 2018’s My Dear Melancholy.
It’s also been rumored that he is back together with on-again off-again girlfriend Bella Hadid. A source reportedly told US Weekly, “She still has feelings for The Weeknd and there’s always a possibility that they will get back together down the line, but for right now, she’s single.”
After Hours will be released March 20, 2020.