At first I didn’t understand the Shawn Mendes hype. He kind of just came out of nowhere and all of a sudden had an army of fans who were very passionate about every move he made. His debut album “Handwritten” was a coming of age collection of cute acoustic-pop tracks but it wasn’t until his sophomore record “Illuminate” when he truly proved himself. The mature collection of tracks showed his growth as an artist with a heavier roots influence and a clean pop finish. After a brief promotional trip down under last year he returned to Australia to kick off a massive headlining arena tour in Brisbane.
Julia Michaels has quickly become one of the most talked about pop newcomers. She’s gone from writing some of your favourite songs for the likes of Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber and Gwen Stefani to topping the charts as a solo artist with her breakthrough hit “Issues”. Earlier that day the songstress received two Grammy nominations before treating the Brisbane crowd to a half an hour showcase proving why she deserved that massive industry nod. After kicking off her set with “Pink” she launched straight into EP favourites “Make It Up To You” and “Worst In Me” before she got a bit emotional during her collaboration with Clean Bandit “I Miss You” which is currently climbing the charts. In between songs she excitingly thanked the crowd for coming out early to watch her and was noticeably very happy that so many people knew the lyrics to her songs. She then performed a medley of songs she’s written for other artists before closing the set with her singles “Uh-Huh” and “Issues” which became one of the biggest singalongs of the night.
The almost sold out crowd hysterically welcomed Shawn Mendes on stage with high pitched screams as he opened the show with recent single “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back”. He quickly had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand as he delivered a medley of fan favourites from his debut album as well as new favourite “Lights On”. He was very humble in thanking the crowd for buying a ticket to his show and instantly even had me swooning. His breakthrough hit “Stitches” followed before he showcased his raw and vulnerable new sound on “Ruin”. The stage production was very impressive with a massive light rigging that illuminated the stage and crowd (appreciate the pun?) and created a very euphoric vibe. He ran to the back of the arena to a b-stage which was under a giant lit up moon where he performed fan favourite “Life Of The Party” on piano and then picked up the guitar for “Three Empty Words”, “Patience” and “Roses”. These moments were very intimate and allowed him to get up close and personal with the fans at the back of the arena. As he returned to the main stage the show started to drag out slightly as he performed “No Promises”, “Understand” and “Don’t Be A Fool”. But he then perfectly tied the whole show together with “Mercy”, “Never Be Alone” and a cover of Kings Of Leon’s “Use Somebody”. Closing with the mega hit “Treat You Better” he left the crowd singing in unison and in raw of his raw talent. He’s grown so much as an artist and a performer and I’m excited to see him continuously grow. My only crtisicm for the show was the setlist structure which could’ve been revised to make the 3/4 mark not drag on as much. Also lets ban couples from sitting together at shows because I was just surrounded by couples making out the whole show which as a single person I did not appreciate.