Shawn Mendes shook the Staples Center on Friday night (July 5) before even stepping on stage.
At 8:19 p.m., 10 minutes before the singer-songwriter was set to come out, the aftershock of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Ridgecrest, California, struck the Los Angeles arena.
With the lights already beginning to dim and the crowd buzzing in anticipation, it seemed at first that the frantic energy was just because someone had spotted Mendes backstage. But then the whole building began to sway back and forth menacingly, including the screen backdrop and huge rose dangling from the ceiling. Fortunately, everyone was safe and it was decided that the show must go on.
The two middle school-aged girls sitting nearby, however, were more concerned about Mendes himself. “What if he died? He’s too beautiful to die!” But the audience’s anxiety soon subsided as the stage crew continued to set up. All was forgotten when Mendes made a dramatic entrance to Queen‘s “Another One Bites the Dust,” looking perfectly unharmed.
Below, find six highlights from the show.
All of the Lights
As the first few chords of “Lost in Japan” rang out, the massive scale of the audience became immediately clear as light from LED wristbands on select crowd members flashed in time with the music. Also in-sync was the giant white rose suspended from the ceiling, dispersing a warm white glow across the arena. With almost everyone jumping up and down and screaming the words, these additions made the audience almost as fun to watch as Mendes himself.
Pausing after “Nervous,” Mendes confirmed that he wanted as much participation from the crowd as possible. “I have to say this doesn’t happen every night, but my heart is racing right now, Los Angeles,” Mendes said. “As I was going into creating a concert, I was thinking about what makes a show great and it’s you guys. So sing along to everything, let’s go!” He then jumped right into breakout hit “Stitches,” and the concertgoers had no problem completing his request.
— Shawn Mendes (@ShawnMendes) July 6, 2019
A Stripped Down Tease
Finishing “Stitches” softly with an acoustic ending, Mendes made his way over to a candlelit piano and launched into a stripped down version of new single “Señorita” with Camila Cabello. He gave just a taste of the first verse and chorus before transitioning into his other song with Cabello, “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” The audience grew increasingly excited with the possibility that Cabello might come out to complete the duet, but she never did.
Running to a small circular stage in the middle of the crowd, Mendes took a seat at the baby grand for a cover of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me).” With just Mendes and the piano, the environment took on a more intimate tone. “I can’t put all my favorite songs on the set list so be patient with me,” the singer explained as he launched into a medley of “Because I Had You,” “A Little Too Much,” “Patience” and “Life of the Party.” He then picked up his guitar for a John Mayer-esque performance of “Ruin,” showing off his shredding skills.
“Youth is a Feeling”
After having the audience clap along in time with his foot stomps, Mendes played “Youth,” his song with Khalid. He took some time in the middle to detail what the song means to him. “When I say youth I’m not talking about how old or young you are, I’m talking about a feeling,” Mendes said. “The feeling of being young and the feeling of happiness. I wanna take a moment to say that every single person in this arena has the power to make this world better. It’s in our power, and our youth will never be taken away from us.”
Ending with a Bang
After a short break off stage, Mendes returned for a two-song encore. First up was a touching cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You,” featuring just Mendes at the piano. “This song means the world to me,” he said as he gave a passionate rendition, complete with his flawless falsetto. The entire crowd sang along, almost matching his volume. It wasn’t difficult to sense his emotion as sweat dripped down his face and veins popped in his neck, though he couldn’t help but look into the crowd and smile when it was over. Mendes’ full band then returned for a show-stopping performance of “In My Blood,” complete with smoke cannons and a confetti blast. As the song came to a close, Mendes took to the crowd, running alongside the front row to greet fans. The arena echoed with screams from the audience, shaking the room for the second time that night.
See the set list below.
“Lost in Japan”
“There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”
“Señorita”/”I Know What You Did Last Summer”
“Never Be Alone”
“I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” (Whitney Houston cover)
“Because I Had You”/”A Little Too Much”/”Patience”/”Life of the Party”
“Treat You Better”
“Where Were You in the Morning?”
“Fallin’ All in You”
“Youth” (featuring Khalid)
“If I Can’t Have You”
“Why” (featuring Leon Bridges)
“Fix You” (Coldplay cover)
“In My Blood”