Shawn Mendes has a thrilling fall lined up and it all happens not long after the budding superstar turns 18. Not only will he be following up his platinum debut album, Handwritten, with his more mature sophomore LP, Illuminate, but he will also be headlining Madison Square Garden on September 10th. To preview his show, Mendes filmed the video for his newest song “Ruin” while taking in the iconic New York City arena.
In the black-and-white clip, Mendes performs the blues-y, pining song alone in the center of the arena with just his guitar and a microphone. He can be seen taking in the location, admiring the massive venue before it’s filled with his fans. During an interview with Rolling Stone, the singer noted that the MSG show would be different than his current world tour in support of Handwritten and more of an experience reflecting his new album and musical direction. “We’re gonna have all the new songs incorporated, and I think it’s gonna be a magic experience for the fans and me,” he says.
Mendes’ approach to creating a unique experience for his fans while playing a landmark location harks back to his Radio City Music Hall show in March. There, Mendes not only teased his world tour by debuting new graphics and songs like “Ruin” but he used the show as an opportunity to show off his growth as a performer as well. “It’s completely surreal and you don’t really realize you did it until you did it,” he says of playing landmark venues. As an opening act for Taylor Swift, he got a taste of playing even larger venues, having performed in stadiums while supporting the pop heavyweight. “I forgot I was there,” he recalls. “It happened so quick and it was so stressful of a situation, so MSG this time around, I’m going to take that moment onstage and be like, ‘I’m here. This is amazing, this is incredible [and] where I needed to be.'”
Fans who may not be able to make it to the show won’t have to wait too long to hear the new music in full, with Illuminate slated for release on September 23rd. For Mendes, “Ruin” serves as the next step in his progression as a songwriter and artist, a chance to further explore the influence of his heroes John Mayer and Ed Sheeran who have turned intimate singer-songwriter music into arena-worthy careers. “Ruin” was also an early favorite of Mendes and his family, friends and collaborators. “It was the song I’d bring home [and] show my friends,” he explains. “Even from the first time I showed them the crappy demo where it was a live take to the full version, every single time they’ve been like, ‘This is my favorite song.’ I think out of the album, it’s a very standout record.”