The upward trajectory for Shawn Mendes has been like a rocket into space. It seems just a few short years ago that I met the young man from Canada backstage of PPG when he was an opening act. But, even in this short amount of time, he has gone from opening act to headliner of a sold-out show that sold tickets a year and a half ahead of time.
Since his debut album in 2015, Mendes has made an impact, all before even hitting the legal drinking age, which he just did. The talent is evident from the first time you hear his voice. But, his real prowess lies in songwriting which is unusual for such a young man. His performance live is just as impressive as he plays guitar, piano, and the crowd with effortless skill.
In Pittsburgh, Mendes utilized two stages, one for the main performance, and Stage B, adorned by a gigantic rose, for a medley of his some of his hits on piano by himself (A Little Too Much / Because I Had You / Patience / When You’re Ready ). The 23 song performance included two cover songs, I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)(Whitney Houston) and a fantastic Coldplay cover of Fix You.
Mendes was dynamic and seemed like he had been playing in front of crowds for decades. Being at the top of the charts now, it will be interesting to see where he branches out in the future as he appears to have a long-lasting career ahead. Full setlist: https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/shawn-mendes/2019/ppg-paints-arena-pittsburgh-pa-4b9fb376.html
Opener for the evening was the uber-talented Alessia Cara. Alessia is another stellar find from north of the border. Cara only has a few years on Mendes and has also been producing great music from a young age having been signed in 2014. She has been nominated four times for Grammys. Check out some of her hits ( Growing Pains” “Trust My Lonely” “Here” “Stay) and you will understand why 90 percent of the crowd was in their seats early to sing along with all the words.
All photos AWeldingphoto © 2019