Rod Laver Arena
3/12/18 – (Live Review)
Reviewer – KC Cool
Shawn Mendes started his rise to stardom at the young age of just 15, amassing millions of followers on Vine posting 6 second covers. Dubbed as a “magcon boy” Shawn was always destined for so much more, releasing his debut single “Life Of The Party” in 2014 which charted No.24 on the Billboard Hot 100, his debut album “Handwritten” charting No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and now his current album “Illuminate” earned him his second No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Yall might know Julia Michaels as the girl who sings about issues and how bad she needs you, not only is she an incredible performer – bouncing around the stage her entire set and a smile never leaving her face – she is also the girl who wrote Selena Gomezs’ “Bad Liar” and “Good For You” and Justin Biebers’ “Sorry”. Kicking off her set with “Pink”,she had everyone out of their seats, she reminds everyone that not only is she an artist she’s also a songwriter and goes on to sing a mashup of songs she’s written for other musicians. Julia is honestly a ball of joy up on stage and her energy reaches everyone in the arena.
This being my third and final Illuminate show, I can guarantee you that each and every night Shawn gives everything he has and delivers a night full of passion and pure talent. Opening the show with “Theres Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” – unsurprisingly another No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 – Shawn’s vocals filled the room accompanied by the screams of a sold out crowd. Following with “Lights On” and then the “Handwritten Medley” the energy in the room was undeniable.
Encouraging the crowd of over 14,000 to clap and sing along, Shawn strips it down to just him and his guitar for “The Weight” and “A Little Too Much”. It’s obvious that singing and performing is what Shawn was born to do, I hate to sound so cliche but he really does have an angelic voice, his vocals so pure even with a slight cold.
Bringing the high paced energy back with “Stitches” – an obvious crowd favourite – once again Shawn had everyone back up and jumping singing back word for word. With Shawn’s lack of extravagant stage production, “Bad Reputation” was definitely a highlight of the night, Shawn belting out the ballad with so much passion and the audience screaming back, a massive ring light began to descend around Shawn flashing along in time with the music.
Keeping the energy going, “Ruin” was up next, which Shawn describes as his favourite part of each show, encouraging the crowd to sing “do I ever cross your mind” back to him, louder and louder – which I can guarantee will leave you with no voice the next day – the smile on his face concreting his earlier fact that singing “Ruin” really is his favourite part of each night.
Shawn walks off the stage and the venue becomes a nonstop roar of I love you’s and before you know it he pops up on the B-Stage for a few songs. With an floating globe above – which we recently saw from fellow Canadian musician Drake – Shawn’s stage production manages to do the most with the least, so simple but so effective, allowing you to focus on Shawn but still be in awe of the projections on the globe accompanied with a constant spotlight on Shawn. Starting on the piano, Shawn begins with a cover of Ed Sheerans “Castle On the Hill” and merges it into his own “Life Of The Party” and I cannot stress enough how incredible it sounds live. Up next was “Three Empty Words” which Shawn finally managed to get the words right after forgetting them in Auckland, Brisbane & Sydney. Wrapping up on B-Stage with “Patience” urging the crowd to clap along and my personal favourite “Roses”.
Back on the main stage Shawn continues with “No Promises” his fans being his own personal backup singers with another sing-along before slowing it down once again for “Understand” and “Don’t Be A Fool” which Shawn introduces as the perfect song to make your move if you brought someone as a date.
“Mercy” another fan favourite has the crowd screaming back every single word, Shawn taking a step back to admire his fans in awe, the fans also in awe over Shawn watching him on stage doing what he loves with happiness cleary evident. “Never Be Alone” another one from his debut album, Shawn encourages the crowd to turn the phone lights on, illuminating Rod Laver arena with what looks like 14,000 fairy lights scattered throughout and in my own opinion each night is just as remarkable as the last.
Shawn leaves the stage and the crowd is visibly disappointed but thankfully not before long, the screens light up again, keeping us keen showing us Shawn on tour over years meeting fans, and before we know it Shawn is back on stage front and centre, guitar in hand, ready for his encore. Starting the end of the night with a cover of Kings Of Leons “Use Somebody” before closing the night with “Treat You Better”, giving everything he has for his last performance and the crowd giving just as much, there is no denying Shawn Mendes is truly one of a kind. Every night, every show is one full of love, happiness and passion, he gives it his all and I can guarantee a Shawn Mendes show will never leave you disappointed.
– There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back
– Lights On
– Handwritten Medley: I Don’t Even Know Your Name,
Aftertaste, Kid In Love & Want You Back (Jackson 5 cover)
– The Weight
– A Little Too Much
– Bad Reputation
– Castle On The Hill (Ed Sheeran cover) / Life Of The Party
– Three Empty Words
– No Promises
– Don’t Be A Fool
– Never Be Alone
– Use Somebody (Kings Of Leon cover)
– Treat You Better
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