From Ultimate Fangirls to Unimpressed Parents

Shawn Mendes’ Illuminate World Tour Stops in Dallas for the Night.


Emma Bittner, Co Editor-in-Chief

The curious side of concerts lies within not who the artist or the opening song is, yet rather in people watching and who you end up sharing your concert experience with.

As an avid concert goer, I have come to the conclusion that everyone who goes to concert fits into one of four categories; the ultimate fangirl, unimpressed parent, overly enthusiastic chaperone or “I’m really just here for the music, not the hype” young adult. Furthermore, Shawn Mendes and his following seemed to perfectly fit those four categories, along with a few aggressive and assertive police officers and seat guarders.

To begin, it would only make sense if we start with the most common attendee at the Illuminate World Tour: the ultimate fangirl. This breed was mainly between the ages of 11 and 18. For instance, there was a 14-year-old girl who sat a seat in front of me with tears in her eyes the whole concert because, yes, she was that in love. By no means am I judging her, as a One Direction fanatic, how could I? More or less, I understood her love and pain, she was seeing her idol in person, in real life, he was RIGHT there. It really is a once in a life time experience and this 14-year-old fangirl wasn’t the only one who was baffled by the concert and presence of Shawn Mendes.

Fangirls filed into my left and right, crying, praying, screeching, dancing and screaming for the entirety of the concert. Was it uncomfortable? I feel like the answer is too obvious here. Did I deal with it? Clearly. I was once that girl about three years ago at a One Direction concert, everyone has their moments.

In addition to the mobs of fangirls, the more entertaining parts were the chaperones that HAD to attend with the screaming girls. There were the parents who clearly didn’t want to be there half as much as their crying daughters, nieces, sisters and family friends, but at last here they were. There were two ways in which this situation could be handled, these two options that lead the to the creation of the unimpressed parent and the overly enthusiastic chaperone. Two polar opposites that most definitely made my night.

A larger view at the arena that Shawn Mendes was performing to.

You see, the less optimistic of the chaperones sat with their arms and legs crossed, nose buried in their phone, busied with work emails. Even more obnoxious, the occasional unimpressed parent would have ear plugs in and be scowling at the pre teens around them. Obviously, it was obnoxiously fantastic. The bitterness was canceled out by the screaming and singing along and the smiles stayed suppressed by the adults, yet the girls never seemed to notice, they were too busy living in the moment, the way we should.

On a happier note, there were then the parents and chaperones who sang and danced along with the kids they brought along, some even more enthusiastic than the girls. It was a sight to see and almost wished I was as happy and enthused as the chaperones. They were jumping and screaming, trying to embarrass the young girls they accompanied with professing their own love for the and only Shawn Mendes. How romantic.

It was seeing the pure joy of not only the 14-year-old girls but also the dads, moms, and siblings who brought them, that made the concert experience. I fell into the category of being there for the music and not the hype of the hottest new artist with his charming boyish good looks, I was the epitome of the “I’m really just here for the music, not the hype” young adult. I disgusted myself, where had my fangirl days gone?

As you grow older your concert experience changes, even if you do keep listening to boy bands and typical teenage girl music.

To be more specific about the Shawn Mendes experience, he most definitely put on a show. Lights, special effects, smoke, strobe lights, the whole shebang. Even though I only knew a few songs by heart, each song made me want to sing along, wishing I knew each lyric instead of half-heartedly mumbling along. Even more impressive, the transfer from the main stage to a smaller, more personal stage added a down-to-earth element to the world tour. Allowing fans to gather around as he played the piano and sang “Life of the Party” the crowd was silent and sang along, never missing a beat.

When you sit back and listen to an area of thousands of people singing in unison, it is a surreal moment and kind of brings you back to reality. Music is a powerful medium and can bring people across a globe together. It was heart warming and one of the most impressive parts of the concert was the crowd that all came together.

As cliche as that sounds it’s true. I am a concert person and I find comfort in the sea of thousands of people who are there for the same reason as me. It isn’t something that everyone enjoys, but it is a crucial part of our culture and Shawn Mendes, you did me proud.


Also, a side note that must be included: At one point I moved down a few levels to try and get a more clear picture, yet got kicked out after I snapped a picture and a half. Without further adieu, here are the pictures that got me kicked out of section 124 at the Illuminate World Tour Dallas Concert.

The first of two-ish pictures that I was able to snag while unsuccessfully sneaking into a better section.
The second, more like first and a half, picture I attempted, and unsuccessfully, to grab from Section 124