Shawn Mendes @ First Direct Arena in Leeds, UK

Review by Liv Rook

Shawn Mendes has been traveling around Europe for the past few months now and has just started his UK part of the tour. Luckily, I have an incredible friend who surprised me with tickets to see him for my birthday in February. I traveled up to Leeds to see him with that friend, and I have one word: incredible.

If you ignore the fact that his music means a lot to me and I’ve looked up to his production team for about a year now, as part of my music photography journey, the performance and show was still amazing for someone who may have been less of a fan. Shawn had the main stage and a B-stage- which allowed him to interact with fans- where he darted from the end of ‘Never Be Alone’ to ‘Life of the Party.’

His support for this tour is Alessia Cara. Although she told the crowd that she couldn’t deliver her all that night due to a cold, she still gave an incredible support performance. Her voice is incredibly unique and powerful. One of my favorites from Alessia was her cover of, ‘How Far I’ll Go’ from Disney’s ‘Moana.’ I felt that most of the crowd had come for Shawn and I think singing this cover united the crowd before he appeared on stage.

As someone who’s listened to his music since 2017, I appreciated the balance between songs from his latest self-titled album and the songs from his first two. The main stage started off with some major songs, such as Lost in Japan, There’s Nothing Holdin’ me Back and Stitches, before he moved on to some slower, more emotional songs via the B-Stage: Like to Be You, Life of the Party, When You’re Ready.

His production team, 247 Productions, didn’t fail the audience either. Upon entrance, every person was given a wristband that would light up in time to each song that was performed. This created the chance to take some beautiful, memorable photos and added to the very surreal atmosphere. Not only that but during the finale, ‘In My Blood,’ smoke machines and confetti blasted on to the audience below.

It went very quickly, it was emotional, it was everything I expected and hoped for. Whether you’re a fan of Shawn or not and whether you’re up in the stands or right in front of him, I can guarantee you a night to remember.

Shawn Mendes

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