I have a feeling many Utah girls’ dreams became reality Tuesday night when they saw pop star Shawn Mendes perform live in Salt Lake City.

Thousands of young fans filled Vivint Smart Home Arena to the brim for “Shawn Mendes: The Tour” with Alessia Cara.

Mendes, who performed a song called “Youth” from his latest “Shawn Mendes” album, told the crowd the hit’s lyrics describe youth not in terms of age, but as “a feeling, the feeling of freedom and the feeling of happiness.”

“Every single person in this room right now, every single one of you, you are the people that have the power to change the world for the better,” Mendes said. “It is up to us to stand our ground and to say that no matter what happens, our youth, our youth will not be taken away from us.”

One adorable evidence of this concept I observed at the concert was a man in the audience, who looked upward of 50 and seemed to be there with a daughter, holding his own as the crowd sang along with Mendes.

The headliner also mentioned a text conversation he had earlier that day in which singer-songwriter Khalid told Mendes, “They go crazy in Salt Lake.”

Bracelets and artificial white roses given to the crowd lit up in various colors throughout the arena as Mendes sang hits like “In My Blood,” “Mercy,” “If I Can’t Have You,” “Treat You Better,” “Stitches” and “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” at the show.

Mendes also performed two covers: Coldplay’s “Fix You” and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”

The catchy set had fans on their feet dancing, jumping, clapping, cheering and singing along to seemingly every word throughout the concert.

The musician performed part of the set, including a piano medley of several favorites from his three albums, from a small stage at the back of the crowd below a large illuminated rose decoration.

Fans also enjoyed other visual effects, like a circular screen stage background, white confetti and pillars of smoke, included in the show.

Mendes switched back and forth between playing the piano and the guitar during the concert, throwing guitar picks occasionally into the crowd, while demonstrating great vocal ability, hitting many high notes and impressive runs perfectly.

Cara’s unique style and jazzy tone are also a breath of fresh air in the contemporary pop music scene. The singer opened the night with a strong set including her Zedd hit “Stay,” “How Far I’ll Go” from Disney’s “Moana” and “Scars to Your Beautiful,” along with its beautiful message.

“I think we’re constantly comparing ourselves to other people, constantly wanting to be somebody else all the time and pinpointing all the things we don’t like about ourselves, and I don’t think we should be doing that,” Cara said while introducing the song. “I just want you to know how important it is to celebrate yourself and love yourself unconditionally no matter what.”

Features Reporter

Sarah Harris writes about arts and entertainment for the Daily Herald.

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