Etihad Staduim, Melbourne
Ed Sheeran might be in love with the shape of you, however this evening Melbourne is in love with the shape of him.
On tour with his latest release ÷ ( Divide) the red headed troubadour is back in Australia to woo audiences yet again. Armed with a fistful of love songs and guitar with the divide symbol burned into it, the talented singer takes to the stage, huge grin plastered across his face. Tonight he’s wearing an Aboriginal flag on and he’s had the local Elders welcome us to country, both signs of respect to the local Indigenous community.
Having been warmed up by Bliss n Eso and Missy Higgins respectively, Ed is straight into things with ‘ Castle on the Hill’ setting the tone and pace early. He takes a moment between songs to explain that despite previous accusations he’s not lip syncing, and is creating his sound with the use of a loop pedal.
For a guy with no session musicians and nobody to interact on stage with Ed Sheeran is impressive to watch. He has the ability to get the crowd bouncing in their seats, arms waving in time to the music. He constantly tells everyone that he wants to see them move, dance and sing and by the end of the night ” Lose your voice”. He seems to enjoy seeing everyone having a great time to his music.
Regardless of the fact that there are thousands of people under the roof gathered to see the song writer, he comes across as humble and genuinely surprised that he has managed to go from the pub circuit of 30 people to the biggest stadiums in the world. Powering through the hits ” Photograph”, ” I’m a mess”, ” Thinking out loud” he sticks mostly to his more recent numbers, leaving most of the songs from his debut album + ( plus) off the set list. Notably a sing a long erupts with the ” I see fire” – the hit from the Hobbit soundtrack as a giant image of Smaug flies on the screen behind his shoulder, the song transformed into an anthem in the large arena.
Winding up the evening with the popular hit ” Shape of you” Ed Sheeran has managed to entertain with nothing more than his personality, catching yet romantic songs and skill. With all the singing and dancing, hopefully most people leave with at least some of their voices still intact.
Words and images by Amanda Lee Starkey