“We love you Shawn!” echoed over and over and from all arena at Asia World Expo on Wednesday night, when Shawn Mendes fervently took command of the arena’s big stage.
From the moment the opening melody of There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back (Mendes’ hit on the Billboard Hot 100) played, to his final song for the performance, Treat You Better, Mendes had his audience in fits of tears, bouts of laughter, and non-stop dancing.
Hailing from the country that exported the likes of Justin Bieber, Drake and Michael Bublé, Mendes, with his charismatic smile and effortless vocals, hit all the right notes and delivered a polished and authentic performance.
The crowd went wild when he sang one of his most famous songs, Stitches, prompting him to deliver a heartfelt message to his Hong Kong fans: “I never thought I’d ever be performing here tonight. You’ve shown me a love that reminds me of being back at home!” (Awwwww!)
Throughout the concert, Mendes interacted with the audience, and even threw his guitar pick at one lucky fan. His hit song, Mercy was met with screams of excitement, and he raised the roof with a cover of Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the Hill and Kings of Leon’s Use Somebody.
Front row seeeeeeeeat! (Well, spot.) @shawmendes performed in #HongKong tonight and it was everything we imagined and more . . . Keep and eye on our website (link in bio) for our review of his #illuminatetour as well as this weekend's Sunday Young Post as #shawnmendes dishes his best kept secrets for us. . . . #music #asia #concert #performance #fangirl #tour #arena #shawnmendes #singer #illuminatetour #treatyoubetter #hongkong #fan #shawnmendesedits @shawnmendesupdates1
But for all his enthusiastic appeals for us to clap and sing along to his music, he knew how to lay it bare, especially when performing with just his acoustic guitar. Notably, on A Little Too Much, Mendes took centre-stage and passionately claimed it was “the most important song” he ever wrote.
Mendes’ top vocals delivered on every single song. Don’t Be a Fool captivated the crowd entirely, and the closing number, his energetic and solid performance of Treat You Better had everyone - from the tweens to their parents – ardently dancing and singing along.
His devotion to his fans – the ones who took his career from YouTube star to superstar – was evident throughout his 90-minute set. But his perfect transition from pop-rock to soulful acoustic guitar and piano performances, coupled with his incredibly high energy, made it evident that Mendes was destined for much more than just internet superstardom.