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Go Behind the Scenes With Shawn Mendes Before Sold-Out Radio City Show

From surprising fans to signing guitars — how 17-year-old star spent day before big headlining gig

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Shawn Mendes taking a selfie with fans who got tickets outside at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY on March 5th, 2016

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

Shawn Mendes played a sold-out show at Radio City Music Hall on Saturday night. Prior to that, he devoted his time to his fans, putting on an intimate performance for around 300 lucky attendees after a meet-and-greet, signing guitars for VIP ticket-holders and surprising a few lucky ones with front-row seats just a couple hours before doors opened. Take a look at an afternoon in the life of one of the world's biggest — and youngest — megastars.

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Shawn Mendes saying goodbye at the Shawn Mendes soundcheck party on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

Private Show

Hours before the actual Radio City set, Mendes put on a much smaller show for about 300 lucky fans who had purchased the Shawn Access VIP experience. He performed three songs and joked around with the intimately small audience.

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Shawn Mendes practicing during a closed soundcheck on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

Blue Moon

Mendes admires the graphics from his show during his soundcheck where he practiced with the new layout for the first time.

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Shawn Mendes setlist on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

Set List

Mendes separated his show into three acts, which were indicated by moving visuals and animation he debuted at the Radio City performance. During his set, the singer debuted three new songs, including the heartbreaking, blues-pop track "Ruin."

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

(L-R) Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes practicing during a closed soundcheck on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

Harmony

Cabello and Mendes decided to write "I Know What You Did Last Summer" during a chance meeting backstage while on Taylor Swift's 1989 tour. "We were just backstage hanging out," Mendes told Rolling Stone last November. "I pulled out my guitar and we were just messing around, not really thinking about writing a song."

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Shawn Mendes signing guitars backstage on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

Guitars

The Shawn Access VIP package included a set of acoustic guitars signed by the singer to be given to fans who had purchased the special ticket.

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Marquee of Shawn Mendes' sold out show on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

Bright Lights

Mendes' Radio City show was sold out, much like the rest of the dates on his headlining world tour, which will take him through Europe and back to North America from April through August.

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Shawn Mendes about to hand out tickets to fans outside on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

Before the Storm

Mendes is pictured here just moments before stepping outside to surprise a few lucky fans with front-row tickets to his show.

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Fans running insdie the venue when doors open on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

Kids in Love

Mendes' fanbase is primarily teenage and tweenage girls who came out in droves for his Radio City show. Many lingered after to get a glimpse of their celebrity crush and favorite musician.

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Fans inside the venue on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

“Mrs. Mendes”

Many fans wore matching tops and hats. One group of young girls sported caps that said "Mrs. Mendes" on them.

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Shawn Mendes' dressing room on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

Dressing Room

Mendes spent his time in his dressing room drinking tea and preparing his voice for the show later that night.

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Shawn Mendes in his dressing room on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

Adjust

Mendes fixed his microphone before appearing on camera prior to his show.

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Shawn Mendes using throat spray in his dressing room on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

Aftertaste

Mendes sprayed his throat to protect it after spending a day talking with fans and rehearsing for his performance that night.

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Signs on each chair on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

“You Made It Shawn”

Fans created posters that said "You Made It Shawn," which they held up during his performance of debut single, "Life of the Party."

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Fans in the crowd watching Shawn Mendes on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

Front Row

The screams were deafening throughout Mendes' packed Radio City debut.

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Shawn Mendes performing on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

Capture

Fans kept their phones and iPads handy as they captured every moment of one of Mendes' first shows as a headliner following his gig opening for Taylor Swift on her 1989 world tour.

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Fans in the crowd watching Shawn Mendes on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

Lights

Flashlights on fans' phones lit up the venue during several slower moments of the show.

Day In The Life; Shawn Mendes; Radio City Music Hall; Rolling Stone

Shawn Mendes performing on March 5, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Krista Schlueter for Rolling Stone

Something Big

Mendes performed a 90-minute set on Saturday night, playing many songs off his debut album, Handwritten, and debuting three new ones to the surprise of his fans. The 17-year-old sold out his headlining tour in just a few minutes last month.

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