There are only two people in the music industry right now who know what it’s like to go from unheard of social media wannabe to world-renown pop music giant: Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes. Granted, Bieber still has quite a number on Mendes, but maybe not for much longer. Mendes is going the same route as Bieber, establishing his presence and fanbase with raw talent at a young age, blending it with super sweet songs about puppy love that no matter how hard you may try, you can’t hate. With each new album, Mendes is growing bigger and better, at an even more rapid pace.
Shawn Mendes’ stop on his first world tour, simply yet appropriately titled “Shawn Mendes World Tour”, took him to Tsongas Center at The University of Massachusetts in Lowell, Massachusetts on August 17th. All things considered, it seemed like an odd placement for him, since his success and maturity had him opening for Taylor Swift less than a year prior on her career-defining “1989 World Tour”. Even then, despite the 2 other openers she had apart from Mendes, it was clear the Canadian teenager had the “it” factor.
Throughout the show, there was no mistaking how gifted he was and how truly thankful he is to be in current successful position. He sounded even better live then on his pre-recorded albums (always a plus), maintained vocal control throughout the entire set, and showed off his guitar and piano playing abilities with ease. He even made a point to describe how he wrote certain tracks, expressing the closeness he feels between his legions of followers and himself when they bond over his music (that by the way, he writes all himself too). This tour could best be described as “the calm before the storm” due to its abundant clearness that the hype is only just beginning for Mendes.
His biggest task will now be doing what previous teen sensations have failed to: keep it real and respectful. Mendes seems to be in no hurry to push his loyal fans from his Vine days out the door to make room for an older, more mature crowd, but that’s an important step if he wants to be the global phenomenon he has the capability of being. Yes, songs like “Stiches” and “Life of the Party” can garner shrieks from any girl due to their overload on adorableness, but his lyrics overall does have a lot of substance, which hopefully he knows is his biggest asset.
What will be telling, more so, career-defining, is how he will be received with his next album, Illuminate, out September 23rd, when he upgrades to arena shows across the US and Europe, striving further to prove he’s no one-hit wonder.