Hope you’re all well! It genuinely seems like time seems to be speeding past and the end of the year is hurtling towards us, which was highlighted by this particular concert rolling around, tickets for which we booked over a year ago!
Honestly, Shawn Mendes. What a man.
I used to listen to his music when he was fresh off Vine, and then it kind of fizzled out for me. However, the music he’s been releasing in the last two or three years has been right on my radar, so when he announced he was doing a tour that would feature a few shows in Melbourne, I was a little bit on the fence about if I should go.
However, when my sister and her best friend decided to go, it was brought up that they’d need someone to take them. My mum’s past experience with my friends and I at the first One Direction concert in 2013 was enough for her to shut down the idea straight away, but when my best friend Kate mentioned she was interested in going – it all just clicked perfectly into place, and a few days later, we had four tickets.
The concert arrived on one of the warmer days of Melbourne’s undecided October, which made for a great time catching the train together and walking to Rod Laver from Richmond station with the huge cluster of concert goers. Kate and I were probably amongst the oldest people we saw at the concert, aside from a few parents and groups of older adults.
We made two quick pitstops, one so my sister could buy herself a T-shirt from the merchandise stand, and another to grab some food, which we ate before heading inside.
Dan + Shay were the opening act, and I was pleasantly surprised. I never listened to them much before, despite how much I’ve been told to by numerous people, so hearing them for the first time in a live arena setting was a treat. The vocals were incredible, so many people knew the words to nearly every song and they were definitely one of the best opening acts I’ve seen thus far.
When Shawn finally stepped on stage, I sweat to God, I had war flashbacks from the One Direction concerts I went to in high school. The shrieks were insane, and Kate and I spent a good half of the first song, laughing at my fifteen year old sister and her friend screaming and singing their heads off.
Lost In Japan is one of my favourite songs from his latest album, and it was arguably the best song to open with. It was so groovy, and I should have seen the foreshadowing for the rest of the show in that song along. Every little nuance of Shawn’s voice is super interesting to me, but there was also this added element of jazz and RnB that I never knew to expect, and the music arrangements probably would have impressed most music nerds.
Highlights for me definitely included Stitches, which had my throat sore and aching from screaming along with the girls. It got to a point where we became that annoying group of girls who you sit in front of and can only hear them singing horribly for the entire show.
He moved to a little B Stage, where he performed a Whitney Houston cover, as well as a medley of songs from all of his albums, and one of my favourites, Ruin, which delivered my favourite guitar solo on the album. I had seen videos of him doing it live the night before, so I was eagerly anticipating it the entire night.
I loved Where Were You In The Morning, as well as Particular Taste, where he decided to actually pop off with his falsetto. If you follow me on Instagram – @priya_francis you’re welcome – you’d have seen my Instagram story just obsessing over the control and range he had and how good everything sounded. He screamed and went into his higher register with such ease, it was a very rock-star moment, and everyone couldn’t help but lose it each time he did an unexpected note.
Mercy went off, and the final song, In My Blood was such a beautiful finish, with the giant rose that had been rising and falling throughout the show being covered in confetti from canons that heralded the end of the show.
Look, I don’t know what I was expecting from that show, but he blew all my expectations out of the water. My sister and I literally sat for half an hour after the concert downstairs with our parents, showing them different clips of him singing, our favourite parts and songs. It was such an enjoyable concert, and I’m glad I went with the gals I did.