I love music and seeing my children happy so taking them to see their favorite musicians in concert is an obvious no-brainer.
My daughters first noticed Shawn Mendes in 2013 on Vine and followed him throughout his days with the Vine/YouTube group that became Magcon. I can tell you that of all the Viners they loved during that time, Shawn Mendes has been the most prolific and successful. To date, we’ve seen him in concert three times, including last summer.
Our latest show was on July 19th at the American Airlines Center, here in Dallas. I will start this by saying it was our favorite Shawn Mendes show by far. Here’s why:
Shawn Mendes is very serious as a vocalist and puts in a lot of effort to be effortlessly flawless. As a vocalist myself, I’m very particular. I can’t tell you the number of concerts I’ve seen where the vocals were just okay but the show was great. The only concerts I’ve seen where the vocals were as good as the artist recordings are Seal and….now Shawn Mendes.
Shawn Mendes is also a handsome 18 year old boy who croons love songs so, as you can imagine, his beautiful vocals are drowned out by screaming (and I mean SCREAMING) adoring fans. They don’t just scream in-between songs, they’re screaming the lyrics, during every. single. song. He encourages it during the shows saying, “Scream it out!” or “Sing it!” He obviously knows his audience. Sometimes, for me, it’s a little too much.
My problem is that I enjoy a singer/songwriter like Shawn Mendes. I like putting on a nice quiet playlist of like-minded musicians such as Shawn Mendes, Amos Lee, Ed Sheeran, and John Mayer. I actually WANT to hear the boy sing. At every show up until now, I didn’t hear much of anything but left deafer than when I went in. That all changed on Wednesday night. Mercy! God bless whomever does the sound at American Airlines Center because I heard each song clearly and beautifully!
The lighting during the show was phenomenal. Between the spherical globe that hung over our part of the audience to the ever-changing graphical background screen to the lights above and the lights on the stage. Everything was perfect and stunning to watch.
Our favorite part of the show was an unexpected surprise. This was the first show that we attended where I bought us seats on the floor of the arena. We’d attended another teen show when my youngest daughter was smaller and she was squished, stepped on, and elbowed… plus she couldn’t see anything. She’s finally about my height so I thought she’d have less difficulty seeing the stage. Our seats were in the back of the floor, just below the sphere and next to the sound booth. She couldn’t see from our seats but since we were at the end of a row, she stepped out into the aisle and her view was just fine.
At one point, I noticed the security guard near us moved behind the barrier by the sound booth. Up to that point, he’d spent the entire show standing in front of it. I knew something was up, especially after seeing something similar at a Panic At The Disco concert recently. When the stage went darker but the beat kept going, the crowd around us began to shuffle towards the aforementioned security guard and barrier. At that point, there’s nothing holding me back so I shoved my girls right in line with them, both kids confused and asking me what was going to happen. Right then, Shawn Mendes was a foot from us and a piano rose from the floor directly under the sphere. Overcome by emotion, my oldest daughter began to cry. She’s nothing but a kid in love.
Me? I smiled ear-to-ear. Very nice, Shawn. Very nice, Mom. And I silently patted myself on the back for scoring awesome seats.
He played 4 songs with us standing right at his feet and then was escorted out the back. Within moments he was back on stage to complete the show. This guy knows his audience and treats them better than some more experienced musicians I’ve seen.
Rules for Concert Goers
I’ve attended countless concerts in my life (far too many too mention but I’ve seen Duran Duran at least 30 times). My preference is smaller, more intimate shows but I’ve also seen concerts at the entirely-too-large-for-a-concert AT&T Stadium (aka Cowboys Stadium). The girls and I have seen about 10 shows together as well. My experience as well as my age makes me very opinionated about concerts. Seeing Shawn Mendes firmly solidified my opinions.
Here are a few rules that I wish all concert goers would follow:
- Earplugs – Because I’ve attended so many shows and because I used to sing for bands, my hearing is not so good. It’s important for all concert goers, especially when the concert involves a ton of screaming girls, to protect your hearing. The kids and I were much more comfortable with our earplugs. Also, really good seats means right in front of speakers so, yeah. Earplugs.
- Stealing seats – I will not tell a lie. I too have stolen seats to move closer to the stage or to get a better view. I will also move if I’m told to. I think moving around is expected and okay at a concert but definitely be respectful if you’re called out on it.
- Being obnoxious after stealing seats – A fan attempted to steal my daughter’s seat during the Shawn Mendes show. We didn’t have a problem with it except that she was SCREAMING EVERY SINGLE LYRIC in our ears… to the point that my children looked at me with tears in their eyes. Everyone around us was looking at this crazed fan. Please don’t be a fool. We were all relatively calm and then a tornado blew into ruin our vibe. I called her out. She tried to prove to me that it was her seat (nice try) but then dropped the act and moved away.
- Follow the crowd – I’ll be honest. I am never a crowd-follower but at a concert, it’s a completely different story. When the crowd begins to move towards the stage or, in the case above, an area where the musician might show up, definitely follow the crowd. Something big is about to happen.
- Screaming during the songs. Is it necessary? – I don’t know, maybe it’s just us, but neither I nor my daughters have ever screamed the entirety of a concert. How are you even hearing the song? And doesn’t that leave your vocal chords in stitches?
- Filming the whole show. Really? – Do you not understand that the musician you love is standing right in front of you? Are you so used to seeing him on a screen that you cannot be fully present away from a device? Call me crazy but when I’m filming, I’m not looking at the live human in front of me. Sure, you’ll get all the views later but then you’ll realize you missed out on a real person experience including breathing the same air.
- Respecting the artist – While I’m sure some artists are used to girls screaming “I love you” during their concerts, it’d be nice to see some respect for the artist as a person. Some fans yell overly sexual comments (when he doesn’t even know your name) or they’re especially grabby. I guess some musicians are okay with it. Others, not so much. Remember they are human beings.
- Always acknowledge and be kind to security – After the Shawn Mendes show, the girls and I thanked our nearby security guard for his help and patience. We know that we’re loud (because yes, we too screamed in appreciation after each song). He smiled and said that the show wasn’t near as bad as some other shows where the grown-ups drink too much. Which brings me to my next rule:
- Drinking too much. Why? – I understand that it’s an adult night out but I don’t understand drinking to the level of stupidity. I don’t know. Maybe I’m old.
- Don’t buy merch outside the arena – Purchasing merchandise outside the arena doesn’t support your artist. Please be kind. No promises but I bet if you missed out on buying that t-shirt inside, you can order online.
Final Thoughts on Shawn Mendes
As an aside, I want to say that I adore this kid. I love that he doesn’t have a bad reputation, fully admits when his success is too heavy a weight, seems to have a supportive family who grounds him (as evidenced in this beautiful song, Hold On), continues to write what he believes to be true and works on bettering his craft.
(Fans: How many Shawn Mendes songs did you find in this post?)