Shawn Mendes Illuminates Madison Square Garden

Even with an unexpected hour and a half delay, nothing could possibly stand in the way of Canadian heartthrob, Shawn Mendes giving the performance of a lifetime at the “World’s Most Famous Arena.”

What once seemed like an impossible dream for the Vine-star-turned-major-recording-artist became a complete reality. The 18-year-old sold out New York City’s Madison Square Garden in just a matter of five minutes, becoming one of the youngest artists in history to ever achieve such success.

18,200 fans crowded the iconic arena Saturday night for Mendes’ preview of his sophomore album, Illuminate that is due out on the 23rd. Although the show was to promote his upcoming record, Mendes incorporated many recognizable songs in his setlist. He kicked off the show with “Something Big,” a track from his debut album, Handwritten. With an incredible amount of engagement from the crowd, Mendes quickly turned it into a medley, spitting lyrics from Eminem’s 2002 hip-hop hit, “Lose Yourself.”

“All I’ve ever wanted is to create music that changes lives,” the teen shared with concertgoers before he began to perform “A Little Too Much,” a track that possesses a great deal of sentimental value. Mendes originally wrote the song as a coping mechanism to get through some of the more difficult times that his high profiled career entails.

Other tracks played from Handwritten included “The Weight,” “Life of the Party,” and a captivating matchup of “I Don’t Even Know Your Name,” “Aftertaste,” “Kid In Love,” and the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.” The singer-songwriter also added another throwback medley, combining “You’ll Never Be Alone” with the Plain White T’s “Hey There Delilah.”

Along with the classics, we also heard the already pre-released tracks off of Illuminate such as “Ruin,” “Mercy,” “Three Empty Words,” and lead single, “Treat You Better.” All were nothing short of amazing.

As far as his other newest songs go, fans are going to be craving Mendes’ new, mature sound because it’s everything our hearts and souls ever needed. “Lights On,” one of the pop sensation’s favorites from the new album (and ours too) has such an incredibly sexy, feel good vibe. “Bad Reputation” is another track that showcases Mendes’ growth as an artist between his first and second album. “Don’t Be A Fool,” a song Mendes dedicated to his parents, has a soulful style that can be compared to the late Etta James. The musician also shared “Like This” and “No Promises,” two more tracks that highlight Mendes’ developed artistry.

Smiling from ear to ear, Mendes closed out the memorable evening with a stripped back piano-turned-guitar rendition of “Stitches,” easily putting the uptempo radio version to shame.

Even if the girls of Fifth Harmony are currently on tour, that doesn’t mean we weren’t low key hoping for Camila Cabello to join Shawn on stage during his big night to perform “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” But, other than our wishful thinking, we can’t shake the proud parent feeling we have while watching Shawn’s wildest dreams come true. There’s no doubt in our minds that the best is only yet to come for this talented young man.

Mendes Army, how excited are you for the release of Illuminate? Tweet at @CelebMix and let us know!

Written by Cayla Masters

Music, pop culture and cheesesteak lover. Follow me on Twitter, @caylamasters