Oozing talent and charm

Nineteen-year-old Canadian pop star Shawn Mendes worked the crowd like a seasoned showman

Shawn Mendes touched his fans with his sincerity.
Shawn Mendes touched his fans with his sincerity.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO



The Star Theatre

Last Saturday

It might have been his first time in Singapore, but the warm reception Shawn Mendes received from the legion of screaming teenage girls last Saturday night will probably keep him coming back for more.

The deafening screams continued throughout the 90-minute set as he played to a sold-out crowd of more than 5,000.

Though he may be all of 19, the Canadian pop star worked the crowd like a seasoned showman on every song, be it on the heartfelt A Little Too Much or the higher energy tracks such as concert opener There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back.

While he had a four-piece band to back him, he was just fine performing solo as well, holding his own with only an acoustic guitar and enviable vocal runs.

During the slow-burning, soulful, John Mayer-esque track Ruin, he caused a bit of a stir as he descended into the crowd and fans rushed forward to get a closer look at the handsome singer.

They lapped everything up - whether he waved and threw a guitar pick in their direction, high-fived the lucky few in the front row or shot a smile their way.

Frequently dipping into tracks off his albums Illuminate (2016) and Handwritten (2015), Mendes was sincere in his delivery, telling the attentive crowd how much some of his songs meant to him.

The charming singer even shared a story about a guy he met at the meet-and-greet session with fans earlier that day, who told him he was going to tell the girl he brought to the concert that he liked her.

"This would be a really good song to make a move with right now," he said as he started on the love song Don't Be A Fool.

It was one of many genuine moments from the singer, who was clearly soaking it all in.

At one point on his penultimate song Never Be Alone, he stopped singing and removed his in-ear monitors to listen to the crowd singing back to him.

The staging was also unexpectedly impressive with a descending ring of lights that made for a strong visual impact in the mid-sized venue as he performed smash hits such as Mercy and Stitches.

He also threw in a couple of covers, including Ed Sheeran's Castle On The Hill and Kings Of Leon's Use Somebody, as he transitioned between songs.

Despite his young age and the size of the venue, Mendes managed to keep the show intimate, but pulled out the stops when necessary, especially on concert closer Treat You Better.

All things said, his music and showmanship made for good, clean fun on a Saturday night.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 11, 2017, with the headline 'Oozing talent and charm'. Subscribe