A Day In My Life, In the Crowd

Illuminate World Tour: One of Those (Amazing) Nights.

See what I did there with the title? I used one of Shawn Mendes’s songs to describe that night. It was one of those nights that you never forget, and that you don’t want to stop living in. The concert was on July 15th at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. That date had been throbbing in my veins since we got the tickets way back in September. Then after enduring the semester and leaving San Francisco to come home to Arizona for the summer, my excitement kicked in. Then the date came.


And it was raining really bad that day, out of nowhere. It did not even mention it when I checked the weather. It was just spontaneous. The windshield wipers worked furiously to keep the gallons of water pouring down off. For a second, I thought my dad would say they couldn’t drive and we would be taken back home. But at one point on the freeway, it stopped. And we got to the Gila River Arena. There was small groups of teens and kids with their parents scattered around the parking lot and venue walking to the lengthy lines. I clutched my ticket in my hand and they scanned it as we reached the line.


I like to get a shirt at each concert I go to, as a souvenir to remember the night. We got there when the doors open, and the line was already incredibly long. We got in line and waited. An hour passed by. I looked down at my phone knowing the show was going to start at 7:30pm. Then the music dropped and the arena screamed in unison. People in the halls started running to get to their seats and people in line left to see the opening act, Charlie Puth. I love Charlie Puth, but after already waiting an hour in line (and knowing the line won’t be better after the show) we decided to stay in line for shirts. And I hummed along from the line to all the songs, then the set ended. Quicker than we expected. It was thirty minutes. But I at least peeked through the curtains, as they opened and closed as all the screaming fans were granted access to their seats, and got to hear him live.


Not being in our seats for Charlie Puth, made me nervous we wouldn’t be there for Shawn Mendes. The opening and entrance for a musician during a concert is big for me, because it’s going to be a big and exciting boom. But, at that point we were in the line for 1.5 hours and were not losing our spots. But, the wait wasn’t bad (although I wasn’t in the best shoes because I had on Mary Janes that had a chunky heel for my cousin’s 90s party I was going to right after) because there were two cool moms behind us we conversed with the whole time. They let their daughters go see the show while they got their merchandise. They said they were going to get nachos and sit after that wait, and watch all the girls scream. After joking and talking, the music dropped again. The screams were even louder because we knew after Charlie Puth, Shawn Mendes was coming on stage. And we were still in line. And he played one of his new, and popular songs, There’s Nothing Holding Me Back first. I thought about running out of line like everyone else the first time. But everyone in line had been waiting so long, no one left. But, there was a bunch of parents in line instead of kids because they all went to their seats for the show.


The line slowly inched forward. There was only two people working merchandise, when they know for an arena show there should probably be eight. Even at a smaller venue I went to there was six. One girl got to the register and tried on three different shirts. People were getting angry and antsy. Then we finally made it to the front. I quickly said what I wanted. Signed my signature for my card and started to speed to the curtains to be let in. We waited for shirts for two hours, but luckily, we only missed two Shawn Mendes songs. And one, he played later as an encore, so it’s like we missed one.


We had floor seats, in section BBB. Row 12. Seat 11. And as soon as we got down all the stairs and saw all of the lights illuminating through the arena, and saw Shawn Mendes standing up on the stage singing his heart out, I melted and couldn’t believe this was real life. He is so cute, and he is so sweet and down to earth, and do not get me started on his vocals. He is such a great singer. I love him. Canada produces great men–Justin Bieber, their prime minister Justin Trudeau, and the very lovable Shawn Mendes.


He played all of my favorite songs too, from all of his albums. My favorite songs that night: Never Be Alone, Kids in Love, Mercy (of course), Hold On, Understand, and Life of the Party. Life of the Party was the start of my love for him, back in 2014. When he got on the piano and played it, everyone in the floor seats stood on their chairs because he switched stages. I leaned back looking around and almost fell, then the security came. And people falling, or almost falling like me, is probably why they don’t want us on the chairs. Haha. Everyone got down, and began to sway to the song. You could hear every voice in the arena singing along to it. I can still hear the sold-out arena singing along with Shawn to the song in my ears right now. It was such a magical night.


One of my favorite moments was when he stepped away from the microphone and asked the audience to be calm as he sang the rest of Kids in Love acapella. No microphone, no speakers, nothing. Just a voice full of passion and talent boomed, flowed, and echoed through the stuffed arena. It felt so soul-baring to me and personal to finish off the song that way. And the audience actually listened. And we could all hear his voice, the silence and passion and heart helped it fill the arena. No one screamed or anything, we all stood still and astonished, and probably all softly singing to ourselves as he belted the last of this song out without microphones or anything. It was amazing.


It was such a fun time it felt like it went by fast, but his set was two hours. We sat in the seats and soaked in all the songs and memories of that night, while we waited for the crowd to die down. A lot of us in the seats did actually. We sat there until security told us to clear out. We took all the steps up, and went outside in the post-rain atmosphere. We sat outside and waited for our ride, and I looked around because I had never been to Westgate before.


My friend I took, it was her first concert. A crowded arena full of screaming girls (including myself Haha) is probably an overwhelming place to experience your first concert, but she had a lot of fun, and so did I. But then it was time to leave, and my night wasn’t ending. I had a nineties party right after the concert in Avondale, which is why I was at the concert in a suspender skirt, long tube socks, and a jean jacket (which was inspired by Ashley Banks who is from my favorite show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air a 90s classic).


So, I put the concert high on hold for the party from when I arrived at 11pm to when we left at 3am, then it came back in the car on the ride home. And I am still watching videos over and over from the concert. Shawn Mendes, have mercy (song reference and Full house reference). It was just one of those nights. That’s all I can say. You had to be there.

Here’s a few pictures from the 90s party too:


Thanks for reading! What concerts have you attended, or which was your favorite? Or, how was your weekend last week? Comment it all below! And subscribe via email for the quickest updates!

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