Music Review: Shawn Mendes knows how to entertain the crowd

Cameron McCreight
Oxford Stories

Pop music is full of artists who rehearse for month to try to put on the best show possible for their fans. Whether it’s a smoke machine, laser lights, confetti, the best wardrobe, or choreography, there are many different ways a performer makes a concert special.

One of the best concerts and performances I have seen has been by Shawn Mendes. In the summer of 2017, Mendes toured for his album Illuminate. This was the first time he had done a big world tour in arenas, and he did not disappoint.

Walking into the arena, there were two stages – the main stage and a smaller stage toward the back of the floor. I had seen Mendes perform before, but I knew since this was a bigger tour, the show would be bigger and better in every way.

I was sitting on the floor, so I knew I had to make my way to the B stage. The lights finally went down, everyone shot up out of their seats, and the arena was filled with screams.

Mendes appeared on stage with his guitar and opened with his hit song, “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back,” the perfect choice because it’s an upbeat song everyone knows and sings along to.

Mendes had many different lights and digital visuals that matched the theme of his album and music. Although he is one person on stage, he knows how to work his guitar and vocals to put on an amazing show. The strobe lights and changing backgrounds enhance the show and add to the experience.

In this show, Mendes used art that followed the theme of his album artwork and matched his music. The light show that accompanied his songs made them more memorable.

Something that makes a concert extraordinary is when the artist is personal with the audience. Taking time to talk to the crowd and show passion through music is important. Mendes even had a second stage to make sure people with seats in the back of the arena feel appreciated.

The part of the show where he moved to stage B was more intimate because he was singing either acoustically or with a piano. He also said “hi” to fans who were gathered around the stage and made them feel special. I had the best experience when I ran over to stage B from my seat because I was a lot closer to him, and it made the whole night something so special that I will never forget.

It is obvious that Mendes really cares about the show he is putting on because he performs with such passion. He is not one to have fancy dance moves and back-up dancers, but he is an entertaining performer. He also plays a few cover songs everyone usually knows, even parents taking their kids to see him that might not necessarily know all his own songs.

Mendes on B stage.

The set-list left me satisfied. I believe he listened to his fans and played the songs he knew everyone wanted to hear. He even sang his older songs that fans originally fell in love with and that kick-started his career.

I enjoy his performances because he adds twists to songs that make them memorable live. He is obviously a talented singer and sounds even better live than on his album.

Mendes has one of the best live concerts I have experienced. He is one of the few pop artists who makes sure their concerts entertain the crowd and involve them. He knows how to put on a show that will make people sing along, cry, smile and have the best time.

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