It had been only a month since my last trip to Little Caesars Arena when I recently returned to see Shawn Mendes. I knew this was a show high on my list to see after watching Shawn on numerous award shows and televised concerts.
He has this natural talent that just shines, and he’ll have a long career if he keeps staying true to his musical instincts.
If you live in the Detroit area or elsewhere and you have the chance to go to LCA, don’t miss it. From the moment we pull into the parking garage, we are greeted with smiles. This is a group of people who knows how to do their job and keep people safe while still being friendly. I can’t give them enough kudos.
The lines on the concourse were the longest I’ve seen at LCA, so I didn’t even think about waiting to buy merchandise. Instead I ordered some track pants online and met up with my friend Nicole who works at LCA. I’ve actually made a few friends just by seeing shows and being an active participant in every aspect of my experience.
She walked Mom and me to our seats in the front row of the lower bowl, very close to the side of the stage. This was a new seating experience for me, and I loved it for this show. Shows that have a long walkway stage would not be as conducive to this seating, but for traditional stage setups, it’s really cool. I could see backstage a bit and had an unreal view when the performers walked to the side.
Alessia Cara opened the show. Fun fact: I saw a tiny bit of her set when she opened for Coldplay, but my friend was running late so we missed most of it.
I love Alessia and so did the crowd. Many seats were full and people were up and dancing, almost as excited to see her as Shawn. She performed about 40 minutes and included all of her hits like “Here,” “Wild Things,” “How Far I’ll Go,” and “Stay.” I would see her again in a second. Her music and personality and vibes are so positive and you could seriously feel that spread through the crowd.
Before long Shawn came out for his about 100 minute set. Fun fact: I almost saw Shawn when he opened for Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour but was stuck in traffic on I-75 with the same friend.
From the moment Shawn came onto the stage to the moment he left, he gave us all his energy and it was really something to witness. The set exploded with a front loading of hits: “Lost in Japan,” “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back,” “Nervous,” “Stitches,” and his songs with Camilla Cabello. This is good and bad because it got the show off to an amazing start but then segued into a string of slower, less well-known songs. Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVED some of those songs, but it was a lull.
A trip to the b-stage featured a medley of one song from each of his albums (a very cool idea) and a giant color changing rose, possibly my favorite set piece ever. It was relatively simple but also breathtaking.
When he returned to the main stage there were more hits and a powerful rendition of “Youth,” with some words of wisdom about what youth really means. This was actually one of the only times Shawn really talked to the crowd.
He wrapped things up with a cover of “Fix You” by Coldplay, one of my favorite songs of all time, and “In My Blood.” Before leaving, he ran around the stage, giving high fives. Oh, I was so close to getting one but just missed. Still it was a cool touch.
This was one of my favorite shows I have seen. I think there’s a clear reason for that: both Shawn and Alessia simply let the music speak for itself, their talent. There were no long breaks for costume changes, no super fancy sets. Just lots and lots of good music, performed live. At the end of the day isn’t that why we see concerts?