REVIEWED: Shawn Mendes expresses love for “resilient” Mancunians on world tour

Rebecca Simms | 8th April 2019

The lights dim. Floral art waves around a circular screen centre stage, the gentle piano riff featured in Lost in Japan gently plays and the crowd goes wild. Out of nowhere Shawn Mendes rises up from beneath and strums his famous guitar ready for what was set to be a magical experience.


Following on from the Grammy-winning and ever warm support act Alessia Cara, Mendes lit up the main stage at Manchester Arena with a range of colours, artistic designs on screen and piercing bright lights, flashing to the beat alongside his raw talent. On the other more intimate stage surrounded by screaming fans, there stood one giant rose which is an iconic symbol of the pop heart-throb featured as part of his tour merchandise.


Photo Credit: Lili Brewin


Each song flares different genres and numerous influences from the likes of John Mayer and Ed Sheeran who Shawn himself describes as major influences to his sound. Although a lot of the night consisted of more simple mellow songs, the singer-songwriters inner rockstar certainly made an appearance throughout the night as his dress code progressed from a simple t-shirt to a sleeveless shirt later on with skinny jeans and black boots.


Each member of the audience was offered a white wristband prior to the show, unaware that each flashed an array of bright colours depending on the timing and style of the melodies.


Audience participation was a key part of the show as the Canadian singer confessed. “When I started the show, I was thinking a lot about truly what is it that makes a show incredible. I quickly learnt that the most incredible part of the show is you guys.”


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I love you so much. Thank you Manchester ??

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The singer remained true to his word as he challenged fans on numerous occasions. Firstly asking them to repeat after him during ‘There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back’ singing ‘yeah’ each time getting louder then humorously strumming as quickly as he could later on whilst fans clapped along.


The show wasn’t all about the new album as expected. The 20-year-old took a step back in time to where it all began with the catchy tune ‘Stitches’. The stage flashed blue incidentally coinciding with the colour scheme of his first album Handwritten which the song features on. His deep and steady vocals harmonised with the audience who knew every word by heart leading to the bridge of the guitar solo which stunned the singer who headbanged in awe around his bandmate.


As the singer dramatically ran off stage, he re-appeared standing solo on the smaller central stage with just himself, the rose and his piano. Although a lot of the night consisted of his own material, the crowd scream as the singer nonchalantly strums and sings the relaxed and iconic ‘Like to Be You’, a guitar-heavy song which hit the charts early last year featuring Julia Michaels. The audience and giant rose flashed pink and it was just Mendes, the crowd and his acoustic guitar complimenting each other in what was an intimate moment.

Photo Credit: Lili Brewin

My personal favourite song ‘Ruin’, an emotional song about love and miscommunication clearly hits a nerve with Shawn as he passionately sings from the top of his lungs the line ‘Do I ever cross your mind’ transmitting a wave of goosebumps.


The Manchester Arena bombing that took place in May 2017 was discussed at great length by Shawn. Whilst speaking to the Mancunians, he gracefully strummed on his guitar to the beat of ‘Youth’.


“I think this is the most beautiful thing on the most human level ever,” he says. “The amount of resilience from what happened in Manchester is unbelievable and I love you guys for it. I think you’re incredible.” It was clear he was sincere in everything that he said.

As the night was drawing to a close, the star added a little twist to the evening singing a cover of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ which was very poignant given his touching speech on the resilience of Manchester over one year after the Arena bombing.


In a night full of headbanging, insane guitar strumming and a few tears, it is safe to say that there is a reason why Shawn Mendes is loved by so many. Not just for his array of musical talents but his loving heart.