Shawn Mendes – Summerfest – American Family Insurance Amphitheater - July 5th 2018 – Milwaukee, WI
Earlier this summer I had the chance to attend Summerfest, a massive 2 week music festival that takes place every year in Milwaukee. They select headliners across numerous genres, and one on the list for this year was Shawn Mendes. Shawn came out with his self-titled album earlier this year, which I thought was very good, and I was excited about the chance to see him live.
Opening with “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”, Mendes cruised through 14 songs over the course of about 80 minutes, much to the delight of teenage (and much older) girls in the crowd. I’ve always thought Shawn was a solid musician in addition to his singing abilities and he showcased his guitar playing skills at this show also, welding one for just about every song.
Choosing to extend some songs to allow for an additional guitar solo or musical break not on the album versions showed me that Mendes has put a decent amount of thought into the live arrangements, even if this was a festival show and not part of a full-blown tour. One of the highlights of the evening, and an example of a new arrangement, was his performance of “Bad Reputation” off his album “Illuminate”. Here’s a video of him performing the song from that night:
Choosing to keep chit-chat and banter short and sweet while on stage, I appreciated that Mendes focused more on the music instead of talking about each song individually (ahem ahem Niall Horan some advice for your live shows sir.) Also the dude loves to perform. He’s not an artist a label just manufactured to role out to teenagers, he has real skill. My only complaint with the set is I wished it had been a little longer, but I also understand it was a festival show, so this is to be expected.
Come back on Monday for the #9 show in the Top 10 Concerts of 2018!