Pop music’s resident lover boys Niall Horan and Shawn Mendes charmed London on Friday night with a surprise performance of “Treat You Better.” Horan welcomed Mendes to the stage halfway through the latest stop on The Show: Live on Tour, sliding the appearance in between the tender ballads “Flicker” and “This Town.”

Both singers played guitar as they led the arena in a singalong of Mendes’ hit single from 2016’s Illuminate. “That’s my boy!” Horan exclaimed as his guest exited the stage. The appearances marks Mendes’ first live performance in almost a year. In June 2023, he popped up at the Toronto stop on Ed Sheeran‘s Multiplication tour. The year prior, the singer cancelled his world tour in support of Wonder to focus on his mental health.

“I started this tour excited to finally get back to playing live after a long break due to the pandemic, but the reality is I was not at all ready for how difficult touring would be after this time away,” Mendes said at the time. “After speaking more with my team and working with an incredible group of health professionals, it has become more clear that I need to take the time I’ve never taken personally, to ground myself and come back stronger.”

Horan, on the other hand, has been eager to get back on the road. The Show: Live on Tour is his first tour since 2018’s Flicker world tour. The six years in between these two runs mark the longest break the Irish musician has ever taken from touring. Even after One Direction began their now-indefinite hiatus in 2016, Horan was back on the road within a year in support of his debut solo album.

“I love live music and I love touring — I live for it. So, it’s sad that I haven’t done that,” Horan told Rolling Stone UK last year. In 2020, he had plans to take his second album Heartbreak Weather on a co-headlining tour with Lewis Capaldi, but scrapped the run entirely a few weeks into the pandemic. “In my eyes, the bigger the venue, the better, because I fucking love looking out at an ocean of people,” he added. “For me, it feels like the bigger the venue, the better the show is gonna be.”


Since taking his break, Mendes has been slowly but surely settling back into the swing of making music. Meanwhile, fans are still holding out hope that he’ll wind up in the studio with Horan, too. “Niall and I talk about this pretty much every time we see each other,” Mendes told ET Canada in 2019. “The truth is that we are just really, really good friends and we really enjoy hanging out. And sometimes you don’t get a lot of time to just hang out so that’s what we want to do but we’ll get it.”

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