SHAWN MENDES PERFORMS ON THE VOICE US
Shawn Mendes is one of the most promising new stars on the block. He's found a lot of success against what many initially thought. His particular style is nothing like other artists working right now. His music is deep rooted in deep ideas and topics, his videos are narrative based and hold many meanings, and his live performances are produced with theatricality that enhances the song into something visual and tangible. He is about to be embarking on his first concert tour so many are watching to see how Shawn handles his career going forward. His current single Crises is gaining more popularity as time passes. Shawn hasn't performed the song live as much as he did his debut single, but he arrived to perform the song on The Voice and also gave a nod to the late Aretha Franklin during the performance.
The performance begins with the screen at the back of the stage flipping through short clips of various people, teens and adults alike, talking about their experiences with being gay and having gay friends. These short clips connected together total around 30 seconds. When they conclude, the song comes slamming in. The piano part is being played by Shawn's bassist so Shawn can stand front and center with his guitar. The lights are all different colors of the pride flag and they spin all around the stage and the audience making for a lively atmosphere. Shawn is using a sky blue vintage guitar for the performance, one that's similar in color to the pride flag. As the lights relax, we can see the other instruments are colors of the flag as well. The screen is now showing a hand drawn sketch animation that will tell the story of the song visually as the song progresses.
The first verse comes in and Shawn lets the guitar slip to his side. He brings his hands up to hold the mic on the stand. Shawn wears a smile as he sings the song. He's very into the music though and he's focusing on delivering the vocals as clearly as possible. The band is keeping to that standard as well, being animated while still focusing on the song's sound. On the screen, we see the sketch video continue. Two boys are seen sitting under a tree at the top of a hill. One of them is carving a heart into the tree, adding their initials to it. The other boy smiles and watches with fascination. Shawn now brings his guitar back up as the pre-chorus arrives so he can bring the chorus in. Shawn winks at the camera that's doing a close up on him before leading the band into the first chorus.
During the first chorus, the lights continue go back to being wild, displaying the different colors of the flag. Shawn is having a lot of fun, happily making his way through the song. On the screen, the sketch animation continues to show the boys. They're now playing around; rolling down the hill, climbing in the tree, both very happy. It's a very lively atmosphere through the whole chorus. Shawn then takes the song back down into the verse. The lights calm down as they did at the start.
The second verse comes in and Shawn once again lets the guitar slip on it's strap to his side and he puts hands on the mic again. The lights go a bit more muted now seeing as this an unpleasant portion of the song. The sketch animation shows the arrival of a woman, one of the boys' mother, catching the two boys just as in the song. She forcibly drags one of the boys away as he struggles to escape her. He's thrown into her car and driven off. Shawn matches this change in mood with his voice. It still remains clear, but it's less lively and focused on the thematic shift. The band keeps the song driving along at pace.
The second chorus comes in as all of the lights turn to a deep red. The sketch animation now shows the boy being assaulted by his mother. She throws books at him, smacks him. He sits on the ground to cry as she leaves. We then see a rock thrown at his window and he stands to see the other boy outside. The boy inside hesitates for a moment before opening the window and climbing out to join the other boy.
The third verse sees the boys walking along the street and talking with one another. The boy that had been assaulted pulls out his phone and then we shortly see red and blue lights in the distance. Marking another thematic shift, this time back toward positivity, Shawn allows his delivery to be a little looser. The lights are no long the deep red and turning into much brighter and vivid colors. Shawn once more brings his guitar up to get into the third and final chorus.
On the screen, the sketch animation shows the boys happily running together through the neighborhood. They run toward the camera. Suddenly, the video ends and the boys appear on stage in real life, not a sketch. They hug and dance with one another, all smiles. Shawn and the band are giving it their all for the final chorus. Instead of moving directly into the outro like normal, Shawn's band members except for the drummer (who keeps time) drops out. Shawn claps his hands above his head and the audience does as well, as do the band members and the boys. Shawn speaks as the clapping goes in rhythm: "Before we leave. I gotta say that love isn't about gender. Place. Origin. It's all about the heart, the soul. Love is real. Love is unbreakable. Let's show love a little R.E.S.P.E.C.T!" Shawn and the band then move into a short snippet of the classic Aretha Franklin tune, a tribute to the late soul queen. After two repeats, Shawn and the band slide back into Crises and take the third chorus one more time before moving into the outro. All of the band members other than Shawn drop out. Shawn gently strums as he sweetly and delicately delivers the outro before stepping away from the mic. A sing spotlight falls on the two boys who kiss each other, ending the performance.
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