Shawn Mendes: Illuminate World Tour
by Katherin Barnas
Minutes. That is how long it takes a celebrity like Shawn Mendes to sell out a show. Thousands of dedicated fans wait months or even years to get a chance at seeing Shawn live, or even better–in person while meeting him(delete). Illuminate is Shawn’s second album following Handwritten, containing hits like “Treat You Better” which reached the top 10 in the Billboard Hot 100. The tour started in March of 2017 and is ending in December, with a total of 60 shows and over 600,000 people attending.
But Shawn Mendes was not always such a teenage heartthrob; just four years ago he was a normal teen singing covers on Vine and YouTube. One day, he posted a 6 second cover of Justin Bieber’s “As Long as You Love Me” on Vine and the next morning he woke up to thousands of views. From there his popularity just rose, as he eventually toured with Magcon and signed his first record deal with Island Records in May of 2014.
I had the privilege to watch him live on August 3, 2017 during his show at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont. I consider myself a very big and dedicated fan–maybe even a little too obsessed. There were three available V.I.P packages and I bought the silver package, which included a Q&A with Shawn and early access to the show. One of my best friends and I bought the tickets back in early 2017 and we had been counting down the days ever since. We waited and waited and waited some more, until the day before the concert finally hit, when we could not be more excited. We couldn’t go to sleep because of eagerness and nerves, and before we knew it, it was the day of the concert. The show was scheduled to start at 7 p.m. but we were ready and out the door by 9 a.m. Crazy, right? As we arrived we saw other girls waiting by the fence trying to catch a glimpse of him, but minutes and hours went by without Shawn’s arrival. Then, at 11:28 a.m., we all saw a tour bus pull up and it was him! After that moment, I did not care that my feet hurt and that it was hot and humid; all that mattered was that I had just seen my idol in person. At 3 p.m. the Q&A with Shawn started and it was an amazing way to get to know him on a more personal level.
Charlie Puth opened the concert with an astounding performance, and then it was finally time for Shawn’s performance. The second he stepped on stage, it felt unreal. He opened the concert with his hit “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” with every girl screaming and singing along. With every song he sang, everyone could feel the emotion he poured into his music. Each song was able to make us cry or put us in our feels. By the end of the night I couldn’t feel my feet, I had lost my voice, and was in complete shock and awe over what had just happened. One thing was for sure–it was a night to remember. Throughout the day I had met some great girls, whom I still talk to today, and experienced something that everyone should at least once in their lifetime.