Photography: Lewy Westhoff/dingocontent.com

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY: Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes will bring his global headlining tour – Shawn Mendes: The Tour – to Australia on October 23. And, on a sweltering Saturday night in the middle of the New York summer, ICON got an exclusive preview into what Oz audiences are in for when the untouchable, wildly popular musician hits our shores. An arena sell-out at 19,000, the 21-year-old Canadian delivered heart-wrenching ballads and catchy pop hooks from his latest eponymous record, 2016’s Illuminate and debut album Handwritten – all with punch and vigor. Opening with mega hit “Lost In Japan” before launching into “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”, the jacked singer and his clean guitar captivated the thousands of iPhones before him. But it was the beginning melody of Señorita – the steamy ode to his highly sexual girlfriend Camila Cabello – that sent our photographer deaf. A couple more tracks deep and you’ll find a sneaky Whitney Houston cover which more than showcases Mendes’ extensive range. There’s also an unexpected nod to Coldplay during the encore, the 22nd track of 23, before “In My Blood” brings the house down.

If it makes you feel a little bit less-than that Mendes – a young kid, really – has already dropped three catalogues of work in his short life, we feel you. At 19 years old, Mendes released his self-titled third album, the kind of mid-career gesture that’s usually reserved for decades-old musicians who perhaps indulged in hedonism and are finally back on the straight and narrow. Mendes – in his chiselled looks and aw-shucks allure – didn’t at all fit this description but the unfathomable response to the album warranted his approach: The record went to #1 in Australia, Canada, Mexico, Belgium and Holland and shot to #1 on iTunes in more 80 countries. Mendes was the third youngest solo artist to ever have three consecutive #1 albums. He’s topped Billboard’s “21 Under 21” and featured as part of Forbes’ “30 Under 30”, Spotify’s “25 Under 25” and Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential” lists.

“I just want to say that there are these very certain cities in the world that make me go crazy before I get on stage, and this is one of them,” Mendes said of NYC. “I always have to mention it that the people who found me in the very beginning of my career are here tonight, the first fans who stopped me on the street to take photos. You guys had no idea this was happening, and now it’s happening. It’s incredible, so enjoy the show.”

You don’t have to understand the squeaky clean to recognise the sheer talent, power and influence of this guy. As for the music, he’s good. He’s really good.

The SET LIST: 1. Lost in Japan 2. There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back 3. Nervous 4. Stitches 5. Señorita / I Know What You Did Last Summer 6. Mutual 7. Bad Reputation 8. Never Be Alone 9. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) (Whitney Houston cover) 10. A Little Too Much / Because I Had You / Patience / When You’re Ready 11. Life of the Party 12. Like to Be You 13. Ruin 14. Treat You Better 15. Particular Taste 16. Where Were You in the Morning? 17. Fallin’ All in You 18. Youth 19. If I Can’t Have You 20. Why 21. Mercy ENCORE: 22. Fix You (Coldplay cover) 23. In My Blood
AUSTRALIAN & NEW ZEALAND 2019 TOUR DATES

Wed 23 Oct | RAC Arena | Perth, WA Sat 26 Oct | Adelaide Entertainment Centre | Adelaide, SA Tue 29 Oct | Rod Laver Arena | Melbourne, VIC Wed 30 Oct | Rod Laver Arena | Melbourne, VIC Thu 31 Oct | Rod Laver Arena | Melbourne, VIC Sat 2 Nov |Qudos Bank Arena | Sydney, NSW Sun 3 Nov | Qudos Bank Arena | Sydney, NSW Wed 6 Nov | Brisbane Entertainment Centre | Brisbane, QLD Sat 9 Nov | Spark Arena | Auckland, NZ

For tickets, visit shawnmendesthetour.com

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE OCTOBER 2019 EDITION OF ICON AUSTRALIA.

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