Maria Melito, 19, had to pack a lot of groceries at Foodland to afford her $500 V.I.P. ticket to Shawn Mendes at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday. It was worth scanning every bag of milk for the meet and greet alone. “I was, like, crying after,” she confesses.
It’s been almost two years since the Rockwood teen saw the Pickering-born Mendes’s last hometown solo show, when he performed at the Danforth Music Hall. That venue’s capacity is 1,500. The ACC is more than 12 times that size.
Sunday’s sold-out crowd was 90 percent female, according to Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, with the venue even rebranding some of the men’s washrooms for women in an effort to accommodate for the extra X chromosomes.
It’s a testament to how much the Vine-incubated star’s career has exploded since piano ballad “Life of the Party” quietly conquered radio during the summer of 2014. The 18-year-old’s homecoming show capped a six-month world tour (the “world” being defined as North America and Europe in this case).
Those who saw Mendes open for Taylor Swift at the Rogers Centre in October 2015 would be unsurprised by his easy command of big rooms. From opener “Something Big,” Mendes confidently planted himself centre stage and beamed a Crest-commercial-worthy smile at the fans as they sang along.