Shawn Mendes at Hallenstadion Zurich

“You know what makes a great show? That’s you,” Shawn Mendes was gushing. The young Canadian is currently touring with “Shawn Mendes: The Tour” around the globe and also stopped at the long ago sold out Hallenstadion this Sunday evening. What it was like and was it really the audience that made the show? I’ll tell you.

Excitement was in the air

Was admission delayed or why were the queues in front of the arena still this long about 1.5 hours after the door were opened?  But luckily we nevertheless got inside fast. Bags were checked rather quickly. Everyone got a white bracelet. What did that immediately remind me of? Of course, Coldplay!

Getting through the lobby was not easy. The gangway passing the merch stand was partly completely blocked. Through the speakers, the concert visitors were repeatedly directed to the other entrance and asked to keep the passageways clear. There was excitement in the air. You could really feel the anticipation.

At first glance through the stands of Hallenstadion I was surprised: The entire arena was seated. In the USA and UK usual and not too much liked by me, that was definitely considered. When I discovered the small stage in the back part, over which a huge rose was hanging, I was already looking forward to this show part.

Alessia Cara kicked off the evening

When the arena lights went out at 8:30 and the spotlights turned on, the first outcry went through the young audience. Woah, okay hearing protection was certainly not wrong today 😉 Everyone jumped up from their seats and Alessia Cara kicked off the evening for world star Shawn Mendes with stomping beats and catchy melodies.

Like her compatriot Justin Bieber or today’s main act Shawn Mendes, the young Canadian of Italian descent was discovered through cover versions on video platforms like Youtube. The TOP30 young artist of Forbes magazine not only made the Zurich audience dance that evening, but also enchanted them with wonderful ballads like “Growin Pains” or “How Far I’ll Go”. “Are Disney fans among you?” she asked. The latter was part of the 2016 Disney soundtrack of the animated film “Moana” (note to me: I still have to watch this film). In the beautiful sea of lights that went up to the roof, the audience sang along every single word during her performance.

Not only was her voice absolutely remarkable, but in “Comfortable” the Grammy winner even picked up the golden glittering guitar herself. With this or reggae beats to “Trust My Lonely” she proved her versatility. Her most successful song in Europe so far “Scars To Your Beautiful” could not be missed either. With this one Alessia encouraged her fans to like themselves and their fellow human beings as they are.

It was really great to listen to her and before Alessia finally said goodbye after her 45 minutes set, everyone jumped up from their seats again to dance to “Stay” . It’s quite possible that Alessia will soon be filling arenas herself.

False start

The fans seemed to be on pins and needles during the changing break. When the music stopped only for a few seconds too long, the next outcry already went through the concert visitors. Umm, false start my dears! The show didn’t start yet. But we really didn’t have to wait long anymore. Shortly afterwards “Another one bites the dust” by Queen roared out of the speakers and was turned up even a bit louder. But before the audience could heat up to it, the song already went over to the show start of Shawn Mendes. Even more deafening screams rang through the arena, which became even louder as soon as the young, goodlooking musician jogged on stage. He grabbed his guitar and started with the band for “Lost in Japan”.

One worldhit after another

With “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” they already played the first world hit and nothing held the audience back. The audience, which was mainly female, sounded loudly, word for word of every single lyrics line. The wristbands given at the entrance flashed wildly in time. Greetings from Coldplay (as a reminder: Coldplay at Letzigrund Stadium)! A next hit followed with “Nervous” and the lights changed to pink. So, who could not get enthusiastic about it…

Each of Shawn’s rare words were accompanied by screams and I LOVE YOU shouts. That seemed pretty crazy as well as impressive and contagious. Along with all the euphoria, an incredible energy went through the Hallenstadion as soon as he continued with “Stiches”. I thought this euphoria was rather catchy than disturbing and wished the audiences of some other shows at the arena would only be a little bit more like this.

Setlist part 1:

  1. Lost in Japan
  2. There’s Nothing Holding Me Back
  3. Nervous
  4. Stiches
  5. I Know What You Did Last Summer
  6. Mutual
  7. Bad Reputation
  8. Never Be Alone

Shawn Mendes’ success

The 20-year-old Canadian was already signed to Island Records at the age of 15 and has released three studio albums and two live albums in his early years. With his debut single “Life Of The Party” at number 24 of Billboard Charts, Shawn Mendes was the youngest person ever to reach such a high position. After Justin Bieber, he was the second Canadian to make it to number 1 in the US and Canadian charts with his debut album at the age of 16. His current album “Shawn Mendes”, released in 2018, also reached No. 1 of the charts in various countries, including Switzerland. And all this he achieved mostly without the help of TV and radio, but mainly through his Internet fan community.

Mendes close by

His pop songs with a bit of folk and a touch of R’n’B are sometimes catchy, sometimes they let you wallow. First Shawn energetically grabbed the strings of his electric guitar and put on a little show with the guitarist. Then he plucked the acoustic guitar or sat down at the piano for more quiet moments. For example during “Never Be Alone”. Shawn wasn’t very talkative. He seemed to prefer to let the audience sing along in a loud choir.

At the end of the song Shawn left the stage. He wasn’t even gone when it became hectic down on the floor. The girls stormed the small stage at the back of the hall in no time. Some jumped over the chairs from the front to be as close as possible. Those who didn’t know that Shawn would continue right back on the b-Stage, could now guess.

Meanwhile a piano emerged and Shawn hurried over. The oversized rose, which was hanging pompously over the B-Stage, now shone in bright white. His debut single “Life of the party” was the first title of this set. The sea of lights created a beautiful sky full of stars. The girls, whose hands he held in between for a moment, probably floated much more on cloud No 9.

Setlist part 2 (B-stage):

  1. Life Of The Party
  2. Like To Be You
  3. Ruin

Back on the main stage they continued rhythmically with “Treat You Better”. Shawn was not completely innocent of all the screaming. He cheered on the audience to scream his lyrics out loud. With “Particular Taste”, “Where were you in the morning” or “Fallin all in you” it got a bit quieter in this last part of the show though. Meanwhile he passed on the feelings of freedom and happiness with “Youth”, and reminded us that everyone, no matter how young or old, got the power to change the world.

Setlist part 3:

  1. Treat you better
  2. Particular taste
  3. Where were you in the morning?
  4. Fallin All In You
  5. Youth
  6. Why
  7. Mercy

Music in blood

The last highlights followed with the loudly demanded encore: Shawn Mendes had not only brought along a Coldplay-like light show, he also covered the Coldplay hit “Fix You”. This was probably something for the older generation, because the lyrics didn’t seem to be completely known anymore 😉 All the more they again sang, together with Shawn, their soul out of their bodies to “In My Blood”. Yes Shawn proved during almost 2 hours that he has the music in his blood.  The fans thanked him with a fan project, for which they held up small posters during this last song. Accompanied by confetti rain and smoke fountains the show came to a spectacular end. The “we want more” calls keep echoing for a while…

Setlist encore:

  1. Fix You (Coldplay Cover)
  2. In My Blood

Great concert night with Shawn Mendes

The great, wildly flashing light show through the “Coldplay flashing lights” and the somehow crazy, yet infectious euphoria of the 10,000 or so teenagers knowing their lyrics made the whole thing an impressive concert evening. But I’m sure that Shawn Mendes would also have entertained us enough with only his great voice, beautiful ballads and catchy pop songs. Next time I’ll gladly be there again.

Information about Alessia Cara and Shawn Mendes can be found here:



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