Brian Smith

Donning a black t shirt, blue jeans, and his signature messy red hair, Ed Sheeran took the stage at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday night as part of his North American stadium tour. Ed hails from England where he began his singing career at a young age. His music first reached the general masses with his hit debut album + (pronounced “plus”), featuring the incredibly successful song “The A-Team.” Since then, Sheeran has found worldwide success with his last two albums x (“multiply”) and ÷ (“divide”), both of which peaked at number 1 on most charts. This stadium tour is his largest to date, supporting the 2017 release of ÷.

Anne Marie and Snow Patrol started the night as people trickled in. Snow Patrol found themselves opening for Ed Sheeran in between two of their own headlining tours in support of their most recent album, Wildness. Prior to Wildness, the band had been off the radar for over six years. Playing a mix of old hits and fresh songs, singer Gary Lightbody sported a big smile as the fans fared the rain to hear their music. After Snow Patrol finished their set with the middle-school-memory-inducing “Chasing Cars,” the final few seats were filled in and the anticipation grew thick.

Sheeran came out strong with the hit single from ÷ “Castle on the Hill” followed by “Eraser.” He then stopped the music for a second to introduce himself and his show. Sheeran made it very clear that the night was about everyone – the audience should let go of their inhibitions so they can sing and dance as energetically as possible. His introduced his loop pedal as he explained how all the sounds, beats, and background vocals of the show were all live and recorded right before our very eyes. Getting back to the music, Sheeran played the lyrically beautiful “The A-Team” before jumping into a mashup of “Don’t” and “New Man.”

He mixed the rest of the night with heart-wrenching ballads (“Photograph” and “Perfect”), energetic tunes (“Galway Girl”) and deep cuts (“I See Fire” and “Nancy Mulligan”). His passion for the music was contagious, shifting the audience’s mood from heartbreaking sadness to pure joy. Sprinkling in his humor and anecdotes with the crowd, Sheeran finished with “Sing” from his album x. Knowing that Sheeran’s goodbye seemed brief and sneaky, the crowd didn’t move an inch waiting for an encore. Within a few minutes, Ed was back on stage wearing a Brent Celek jersey to complete the set with “Shape of You” and “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.”

Sheeran’s performance captivated the audience from start to finish. His eclectic style of music, from folk to rap to pop, provided one of the most enthralling concerts I have ever been to. On stage, Ed keeps things simple with just his guitar, loop pedal, and passion for his craft. Performing in front of 60,000+ people night after night has not taken the authentic enthusiasm from his shows.

Check out the setlist from the show:

  1. Castle on the Hill
  2. Eraser
  3. The A Team
  4. Don’t / New Man
  5. Dive
  6. Bloodstream
  7. Happier
  8. Give Me Love
  9. Galway Girl
  10. Feeling Good / I See Fire
  11. Thinking Out Loud
  12. Photograph
  13. Perfect
  14. Nancy Mulligan
  15. Sing

Encore

  1. Shape of You
  2. You Need Me, I Don’t Need You