Born on February 17, 1991, in West Yorkshire, England, the award-winning singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran started his singing career as early as 2004, independently releasing collections of his original materials. He eventually signed with a major label, Asylum Records; and then, in 2011, released his debut album, + [‘plus’], which produced several chart-topping singles that included “The A Team,” “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” and “Lego House.”
Sheeran’s star catapulted to commercial popularity when he guested on the fourth album of Taylor Swift, 2012’s Red, collaborating with the American singer-songwriter on her song “Everything Has Changed.” He released two more albums, 2014’s highly successful X [‘multiply’], where his widely popular hit songs “Photograph” and “Thinking Out Loud” may be found; and this year’s ÷ [‘divide’], which instantly produced for him some more chart-toppers, like “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill.”
And recently, on July 22, Sheeran graced the stage of MTS Centre, Winnipeg, bringing the venue down with his beloved songs and fantastic stage charisma.
Around 8:30 p.m.
Opening act James Blunt dished out a set of mostly slow, soulful and silky ballads with a number of Dance tunes thrown in, to excite the crowd. His style as well as stage persona was reminiscent of Coldplay especially when its vocalist Chris Martin and the rest of the band are in shimmery Synthpop dancehall mood.
Most in the audience were already prepping up themselves for the main star of the show. Still controlled and half-crazy, the brewing bubbles of subdued giggles came from the mostly equally beautiful, young fans. Polite claps from the considerable number of relatively older percentage of the fanbase were equally audible. The overall energy emanating within the confines of the venue slowly radiated until it burst into sparkling confetti of silver and gold little strips, as soon as the artist everyone was waiting for appeared solo on the stage.
Ladies and gentlemen…
Even without a backing band, but only with his guitar and looper and microphone, Sheeran started dishing out powerful song after powerful song. His setlist included “Castle on the Hill,” “The A Team,”
“Don’t,” “Dive,” “Bloodstream,” “Happier,” “Galway Girl,” the Nina Simone original “Feeling Good,”
“Hearts Don’t Break Round Here,” “Photograph,” “Perfect,” “Thinking Out Loud,” the funky “Sing,” “Shape of You,” and finally, “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.”
Sheeran’s performance was really astounding. Despite his being practically a one-man band, maximizing his expertise with the looper, he delivered a full sound—bass, drums, backing vocals, guitars, all—pulling all these only by himself. And that was how perhaps anyone who had watched him perform get mesmerized by the man and his music.
Sheeran’s set was relatively simple—no elaborate visual and orchestral acrobatics. But the heartwarming stories and sentiments that he could heartily express in his songs really dove bull’s eye into the yearning and romantic hearts of that night’s supportive and welcoming crowd.
The last song had been played, the lights went out, and the curtains slowly cascaded down…and yet the audience didn’t even notice that the show was over. It happened so quickly, no fillers, no dull moment, just pure music—direct from the heart of the red-haired, diminutive, yet big-voiced artist known as Ed Sheeran.
Photos by Star Roxas | Filipino Journal