It’s hard to go anywhere these days and not hear one of his infectious songs. His album ‘divide’ was the top album of 2017 and he’s currently underway with his third world tour playing for over 3 million people on this tour alone. I was lucky enough to be one of the 80,000 people to see Ed Sheeran on his fourth and final night at Wembley Stadium, where he played a range of songs from all his albums and even did a beautiful rendition of ‘Feeling good’.
At 6 pm the show started with Ed Sheeran’s protégée Jamie Lawson best known for his 2015 hit ‘Wasn’t Expecting That’ hitting the stage with his band behind him. Next was Essex golden girl Anne-Marie who bought the more commercial pop element into Wembley Stadium, being towered by five vertical light beams as she danced across the stage and through her band singing her hits such as ‘Ciao Adios’ and ‘Rockabye’. Whilst Anne-Marie was performing, Jamie decided to meet his fans at the central merchandise stand gifting them with his own products providing an intimate touch to an impersonal setting. Therefore, giving a glimpse of what this evening will be like with Ed previously referring to his performances as participation orientated. As Anne-Marie’s set came to a close, it was almost sad to see her go, her energetic performance coupled with her contagious personality made her 45 minutes on stage memorable. And after dancing the way through what seemed like most of the songs on the charts, the audience was now raring and eager to see the main act.
Around 8:15 pm, the screens came to life with live videos of Ed making his way to the stage with a silent audience now bursting with life. There were no gimmicks for him to hide behind, as he proclaimed all of the music was created from scratch using his guitar, microphones and his favourite loop pedal on the stage before us. As the first bar of ‘Castle on the Hill’ opened the set the audience were on their feet and were not off them until the last note of ‘You need me, I don’t need you’ ended the show. Unlike the two acts before him, Ed had no backing band with him, solely on the stage occasionally being interrupted by his crew swapping over guitars. The limited visual stage presentation, as well as Ed’s simple attire of jeans and a t-shirt, drew more attention to his amazing talent with each one of us captivated by each note played.
Ed’s down-to-earth charisma made each individual feel as if they already know him and last night was no exception. His performance made us feel as if we were at the local pub with close friends rather than a stadium filled with strangers. With each person linking arms and dancing chaotically as the stadium erupted with life during ‘Nancy Mulligan’ to being connected through the torchlight on their phones as he softly sung ‘Thinking out Loud’ to 80,000 people each one feeling as if he was directly singing to them. It still amazes me how much energy can be created by one man and his guitar.
Throughout the show, it was clear Ed was reflecting on the path which led him to sell out Wembley Stadium for the seventh time in his career. Playing ‘Lego House’ and ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ from his 2011 album ‘+’ felt like a reminder to everyone of how far he has come. Alongside the fan favourite hit ‘A-Team’ in which he used to perform at 15 in local pubs in Camden. Therefore, he has made it a tradition to always play that song through every gig throughout his career from pubs, clubs, arenas and now stadiums. It is truly remarkable how much the 27-year-old has achieved over the last decade with just a guitar and his beautiful play on words.
Ed is heading overseas to continue the rest of his European Tour.