Even though he’s now used to entertain big crowds, Ed Sheeran is always pleased to go back to intimate London venues because that is where it all started for him. On Monday, he played a special gig at Indigo O2 to support the War Child movement. They raise awareness and collect donations to help children living in countries affected by war escape and build a new life. Click here to learn more about their actions.
The four time Grammy winner didn’t hide his joy of performing his first gig of the year and he transformed the gig into a huge fan party, changed the setlist on request and bantered a lot! It also happened to be his first performance after turning 27 and getting engaged by the 2,700 crowd of people singing him happy birthday, between his “sick of success” song Eraser and the one that made him successful, The A Team.
The night started with a DJ set entertaining the crowd with famous dancing songs and continued with the opener Mahalia, a pop vocalist who made the stage her own after telling us how she went from being a fan to opening for her favourite artist.
The ginger we were all here for started the night with a single about his hometown of his third and latest record, Castle on the Hill. His third album Divide came out on 3rd march 2017, after a year off travelling with his now fiancée and taking some well-deserved rest. The gig continued with his traditional catchy mash up of Don’t & New Man and then Dive, during which Ed made the crowd hit the same high notes as him (almost..!).
After singing his full of Spanish and dancing vibes song Barcelona, which was requested by some of the audience, Ed also brought on stage with him his Irish roots, by playing the crowd’s favourites : Galway Girl & Nancy Mulligan. Before each song, Ed interacted with the crowd and explained how his song lyrics are influenced by his family and life’s experiences. The song he revealed he was going to play at the Brits Awards, Supermarket Flowers, was for instance written from his mum’s point of view when his grandmother was ill and the Perfect duet with his brother was also a wish of his nanny. Ed even felt comfortable enough to sing the last verse in Italian !
Mixing songs of his different albums, the mathematical symbols singer couldn’t resist playing his lead singles Shape of You and Thinking out Loud, but he also made the crowd go crazy by doing the incredible Bloodstream, known for the catchy guitar instrumental.
His last ten years of performing, either when he was “busking on the street when it was cold outdoors” or “sweating on the stage of a sold out tour” taught him how to make the crowd feel a rollercoaster of emotions, by chaining sad and catchy songs, to dancing and emotional ones. He surely got the crowd’s attention when he performed Happier, Tenerife Sea, or even the “not so famous” Photograph (laughs).
Having always been influenced by soul and blues singer-songwriters such as Stevie Wonder, Sheeran stimulates the hearing experience of the evening with a part of Feeling Good before starting I see Fire, which is always greatly appreciated by the crowd.
To complete this incredible set, the English singer songwriter had to perform You Need Me I don’t Need You, which is the oldest song he still regularly performs. This War Child concert lasted 20 minutes longer than expected, to the delight of the fans coming from all over the world. Added to the profits collected by selling out the venue, the staff sold all the merchandise, which is going to help make the future brighter for more kids. Meanwhile, Ed Sheeran’s year looks bright too as he is starting a world stadium tour in March. Catch him in a city near you !