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.
Olivia Holt: Generous
Olivia Holt is yet another Disney Star to start a music career. Her newest single “Generous,” that was released this year, is her biggest hit yet. This song had a lot of potential with the tune and lyrics to becoming a number one hit single but the delivery was a bit weak, and the song became pretty mediocre. It is a pop song very similar to songs by Selena Gomez, and Hailee Steinfeld. It would be hard to differentiate Olivia’s song with a lot of other young female singers. That being said it had a very good beat to it that just makes you want to dance and sing along. The song is lighthearted and will lift your mood on any bad day. Overall, the song “Generous” has a very good rhythm and tempo that can make you happy.
Alessia Cara Know-It-All Tour Pt. II
by Samantha Arroyo
At only 18, pop singer Alessia Cara became a hit when her debut single “Here” was released. Now at 20 years old, Alessia Cara is already on her second leg of the Know-It-All Tour with fellow pop singer Nathan Sykes and singer/songwriter Ruth B. On October 7th, 2016, my friend and I were dropped off at the Chicago Theatre only moments before the concert officially kicked off that night. Feeling hungry, the two of us purchased some popcorn, found our seats, and waited for the concert to begin.
Alessia Cara Know-It-All Tour Pt. II
by Samantha Arroyo
At only 18, pop singer Alessia Cara became a hit when her debut single ‘Here’ was released. Now at 20 years old, Alessia Cara is already on her second leg of the Know-It-All Tour with fellow pop singer Nathan Sykes and singer/songwriter Ruth B. On October 7th, 2016, my friend and I were dropped off at the Chicago Theatre only moments before the concert officially kicked off that night. Feeling hungry, the two of us purchased some popcorn, found our seats, and waited for the concert to begin.
The lights in the theatre began to dim, the audience quickly found their seats and quieted down, the stage lights began to change color, and then appeared the first performer of the night, Nathan Sykes. He performed songs such as ‘Kiss Me Quick,’ ‘Give It Up,’ and ‘Over and Over Again.’ Sykes even performed his latest release, ‘Famous’ while beautifully playing the piano at the same time. Nathan Sykes was only a crowd warmer though. After a short intermission, Ruth B. came onto the stage and the audience only grew louder. She sang multiple new songs and songs from her EP, The Intro, including ‘Lost Boy’ and ‘Superficial Love’ (and I am not embarrassed to say that I sang along with and danced to). When Ruth B. left the stage the audience began to stand up, they walked around, went to the bathroom, got food, and etc. It was only a matter of time before Alessia Cara walked onto the stage.
By Pamela Granda
Sheppard is a new up and coming band from Brisbane, Australia that has taken over music charts all over the world. Their newest single, Geronimo, is an upbeat song that talks of taking a leap to find new experiences. the single has reached #1 on Australia’s Aria Charts and the band has had continued success with their other single, Let Me Down Easy. Sheppard is an indie pop group whose vibrant yet acoustic sound highlights lyrics consisting of making the best out of the worst situations and enjoying new, blossoming relationships. In Australia, their album Bombs Away came out on July 11th, 2014. In the United States, their album was exposed in early 2015. Their stand out songs are The Best is Yet to Come and Smile. Overall, Shepard made a mark with this album and I expect several songs to become instant hits. If you’re looking for some new music to enjoy this summer, check out Sheppard and see if you, too, enjoy what they have to offer.
On The Road To Fame
By Cassie Lacey
If the name Dylan Gardner sounds familiar, it’s probably because of his cover of “Abbey Road” by The Beatles. This 17-year-old boy is on his way to fame with his originality, and one can quickly notice that his music and style is inspired by The Beatles. A multi-talented young boy is exactly with we need; with all of the beats, raves, and obsession with dub step, one might agree that this generation of music is growing away from its roots; that isn’t a bad thing, of course. Music has been changing throughout all of human history, and we are counting on kids like Dylan Gardner to help expand our vision of it. Dylan’s music could be compared to happiness if it could sing– catchy, but not annoying. I have large amounts of respect for Mr. Gardner. He is extremely talented, and I can tell that he will be very successful very soon.
Maddie & Tae: On the Rise
Start Here appeared on August 28, 2015. The album debuted at seven on the Billboard Top 200 — and number two on the country charts — just as Fly climbed into the country Top Ten. According to Billboard, Start Here is #7 on the top country albums chart.
In Maddie and Tae’s “Start Here”, they sing of traveling and pursuing ones dreams, sort of a “small town, big dreams” type of mentality. In “Girl In a Country Song”, they sing about the typical stereotypes for being a country girl, the way they’re supposed to act, speak, and dress. It’s very fun to listen to, an upbeat song that’s somehow relatable to everyone. In contrast, “No Place Like You” talks about wanting to be with that special someone, and it has a very pleasing ballad-like tune. Even the slow songs, like “Fly” and “The Downside of Growing Up” have a home-y feeling that makes you happy and want to tear up at the same time. This album fits every type of mood, whether you want to think about romance, independence, traveling, or fun and parties. It’s a different kind of country, one that is more modernized and relatable. Overall great album.
Country Artists You’ll Love
I am not a country music fan. Generally, and like many other people, I enjoy listening to many different genres of music.
The reason I usually distance myself from country is because, in my experience, it usually consists of lackluster stories about nature, “country life,” and lots of sexism — not topics that I find much interest in, and I bet many readers can agree.
However, I was asked write a review on the album called START HERE by singers Maddie & Tae. This duo is remarkably proud of their Country roots and claim to sing songs that are authentic and honest. Although I have never heard of them until now (probably because I don’t pay much attention to country), they seem to be really well known and have a large fan base. But what surprised me was that they are only 19 and 20! That is a year or two older than me!
So, I listened to the songs in their entirety. . .