OCTOBER 29 - ROD LAVER ARENA
DAN & SHAY
TEQUILA SUNSET FOR DAN & SHAY
“But when I taste tequila, baby I still see ya/ cutting up the floor in a sorority t-shirt/ the same one you wore when we were/ sky high in Colorado, your lips pressed against the bottle/ swearing on a bible, baby, I'd never leave ya/ I remember how bad I need ya, when I taste Tequila.” - Tequila - Dan Smyers-Jordan Reynolds-Nicolle Anne Galyon.
It was never going to need police horses - or even Daryl Braithwaite's equine choice - to control this pubescent posse of Shawn Mendes fans.
These squadrons were happy to queue for merchandise and music as the sun went down west of the big smoke.
I was invited with a small group of commercial radio taste makers to a meet, greet and eat for chart topping Grammy winning country duo Dan & Shay.
Our host Karen Black of Warner Music led us onto a spacious lift deep into the bowels of this tennis stadium.
The expatriate Pennsylvania promotions team captain was keen to meet a fellow Penn State born Dan Smyers, 32, and Arkansas traveller Shay Mooney, 27, before they opened the show.
This enthusiastic duo embraced and welcomed us intruders with gusto for the photo shoot.
I explained to Dan and Shay they debuted on Nu Country TV on April 22, 2017, with When I Pray For You from the soundtrack of the Sam Worthington-Octavia Spencer-Tim McGraw movie The Shack.
We didn't have time to ask if they needed my services in kicking footballs into the audience as former Saints captain Nick Riewoldt had done with singing actor McGraw earlier in the month at the same venue.
After our photo cameos our host Karen led us to a fish and chip galley with offers of a pre-concert snack.
Having just read why Geelong defender and historian Harry Taylor had presented his Adelaide Crows opponent and new Geelong recruit Josh Jenkins with ham retrieved from his sock on-field in a major game I was somewhat reluctant.
But when calamari and chips replaced ham on this menu I took the bait.
It was worth it as this show was a high energy marathon from the minute Dan & Shay held sway.
There was nothing slim or dusty about their turbo charged 10 song set that began with Alone Together , which they were not, and All To Myself.
“Thanks for showing up early,” they shouted above the sonic roar from their dynamic backing band - drummer, keyboards, bass and guitar.
Unlike Tim McGraw the duo didn't employ a fiddler or pedal steel guitarist as they segued into other crowd pleasers What Keeps You Up At Night, Make or Break and Nothing Like You.
The light show seemed to hit a psychedelic peak where they reached back for their first chart topper From The Ground Up.
Dan swapped guitars and jammed with their band as Shay's gymnastics on his mike were instant access to this young audience that sang along with spirit.
“Your enthusiasm has left us speechless,” Dan declared as he introduced their wedding song of that name.
“We did this song in Adelaide and Perth. Y'all stand up so we can post this video on the internet.”
The crowd responded as requested.
“Here is another new song from a couple of weeks ago, it's the first time we have done it live here,” Shay announced.
It was their new hit 10,000 Hours , promoted in a video with Justin Bieber, and scoring 115 million streams in it first two weeks.
“We have one song left,” Dan declared as the set climaxed with equally energised delivery of another smash hit Tequila that was the most streamed 2018 country song with 250 million streams.
For fans who missed out on the merchandise queues the duo tossed tee shirts and plectrums into the enthusiastic crowd.
And for those wondering why Harry Taylor gave Josh Jenkins cured ham on the footy field.
Jenkins had been bedridden leading up to that game with food poisoning that was attributed to some off ham he ate at a funeral.
It was a vast contrast to this week's revelation that hashish cookies were served by mistake at a funeral in Rostock in northern Germany .
A widow and 13 other mourners were taken to hospital after being drugged from accidentally eating a hash cake.
Police said the daughter of one of the restaurant workers made the cake, albeit for "a different occasion."
SHAWN MENDES IN HIS BLOOD
“Help me, it's like the walls are caving in/ sometimes I feel like giving up/ no medicine is strong enough/ someone help me/ I'm crawling in my skin/ sometimes I feel like giving up/ but I just can't, it isn't in my blood.” - In My Blood - Shawn Mendes-Geoff Warburton-Teddy Geiger-Scott Harris.
It didn't seem that pending spring school exams were likely to decrease the size of Canadian young gun Shawn Mendes audience.
Tickets for this concert went on sale 13 months ago but three sold out Rod Laver Arena shows proved this demographic was recession proof.
Mendes, just 21, has scored more than 11 billion song streams and 100 million singles sold in a short but hot career.
So, it was no surprise strobe lighting showers, magnified by flashing wrist bands and mobile phones, were perfect spotlights for Shawn Peter Raul Mendes.
I didn't own a mobile phone and hadn't worked out how to ignite my treasured wrist band so I stuck to taking notes in the twilight zone overlooking the stage.
“Let's get lost tonight,” Mendes urged his audience as he opened with Lost In Japan that segued into There's Nothing Holding Me Back, Nervous and Stitches .
A notable absentee on his Senorita hit was his duet partner Camillo Cabello.
Mendes swapped guitar for piano on this ballad after keeping their romance secret until he arrived in Adelaide and confessed that they had been dating since July 4.
As a young man from Pickering , Ontario , it was not his Independence Day and luckily this show was not waylaid by Halloween.
The artist repeatedly swapped guitars with plectrums thrown into the crowd as he ignited I Know What You Did Last Summer and “she had a “ Bad Reputation .”
Mendes followed in the foot - not football steps - of singing actor Tim McGraw by decamping the main stage and joining the audience.
But the singer didn't find any babies or babes to cuddle in the wings or pockets. Instead he emerged on piano on a second stage in the middle of the arena under a giant rose as he resurrected earlier hits and tribute to the late Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody Who Loves Me.
There may have been plenty of willing volunteers as he noted his three sold out shows - “there's not many places I get to do that.”
A show is music, lights and cameras, Mendes said, “but the most important part is you guys.”
Mendes acknowledged fellow young gun Ed Sheeran as co-writer of Falling All In You.
The singer also credited Julia Michaels as co-writer of another new ballad Like to Be You.
His well-paced and minimal stage patter included his introduction for another hit Youth.
“Youth is a feeling of freedom and happiness,” Mendes told his audience, “every single one of you has the power to change the world.”
The singer and model didn't suggest joining climate change activists in the city who may have caused arrival delays to his concerts.
Or even attacks on innocent horses and their long-suffering police handlers or blockading knackeries north of the Murray Dixon line.
Instead Shawn finished his show with Mercy and In My Blood that was as close to a ballad we were likely to see or hear.
The climax was a flotilla of on-stage smoke machines and rockets shooting paper and confetti high into the indoor neon sky.
It may not have been country music but this was a supersonic rock show aimed at this captive audience.
Review by David Dawson