Shawn Mendes / Charlie Puth @ American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

To say that I don't follow mainstream music would be a considerable understatement.  I usually have Pandora, oldies radio (80's and 90's for you youngin's), or sports radio playing my car as I commute back and forth to work or running errands.  On occasion, I will go through my pre-programmed stations to skim through some of the Top 40 stations, take a listen to what's hot, err, lit.  While I have heard multiple songs by Shawn Mendes, I actually had never caught his name and I did not know that two songs I heard a few times were actually the same artist ("Stitches" and "Treat You Better").  I could definitely hear the appeal of his music, smooth yet catchy, and personable yet playful.  To me, he was a breath of fresh air.  With that in mind, I dove headfirst into a sea of screaming girls to catch Mr. Mendes, accompanied by upstart Charlie Puth, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Charlie Puth had the luxury of opening the show for Mendes, but I have a feeling he won't be opening for any artists in the near future.  Mr. Puth has had a nice little collection of radio plays over the past year with songs like "We Don't Talk Anymore", "One Call Away", and his latest hit, "Attention".  These anthems were sang at deafening levels by the sold out American Airlines crowd.  Puth's performance was fairly straightforward, no crazy light shows or videos, simply he and his four-piece band having a good time and playing a solid set.  Puth himself spent most of this time behind his keyboard during his performance.  Charlie ended his short, six-song set with "See You Again", the Wiz Khalifa song in which Puth contributed vocals to.  Again, I wouldn't be surprised if Puth plays much larger shows than he once played before.

After Puth's set ended, the anticipation in the arena hit fever pitch.  You could hear the buzz and clamor of the audience as they waited impatiently for Mendes to perform.  That's when the lights went out.  Unlike Puth's stage production, Mendes had a stage-wide video screen behind him, which gave a nice intro video before Shawn walked up from below the stage to a roar of screams that hurt my ears, even with earplugs.  He then jumped into "There's Nothing Holding Me Back", which got the fans singing and dancing.  From this point on, I was very impressed with Mendes.  I can rarely recall a moment during his entire show that he didn't have an instrument in his hands.  Most of your modern-day pop artists don't actually play instruments and rely on studio musicians to pick up the slack.  But Shawn either wielded a electric or acoustic guitar, or was sitting behind a piano for the majority of the show.  And to say his fans are hardcore fans, there wasn't a song performed in which the entire arena was singing.  The bulk of his set came from his latest release Illuminate, where he performed 10 of the 13 tracks from the album, including one of the hit singles from the album, "Mercy".  While Mendes could have performed a flawless show from onstage, he took a short intermission and made his way to the back of the arena where a small circle stage was setup with a piano.  He only performed a few songs behind the grand piano but it was definitely a treat for those in the back to get up close and personal with the superstar.  He eventually made his way back to the main stage where he ended the show with "Treat You Better".  As a casual listener to mainstream pop music, I would have to say that Mendes puts on a hell of a show and he made me a fan of his music.

Photos of the show are below:

Charlie Puth
Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes / Charlie Puth @ American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX Shawn Mendes / Charlie Puth @ American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on July 24, 2017 Rating: 5
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