Recently, one of the most successful tours this year made its stop in Barcelona, Spain, after rapidly selling out not even hours before the tickets went on sale. You guessed it! Ed Sheeran graced us with his presence by playing one of the biggest stadiums in the city. That’s the thing: when you think of stadium tours, you might think of high maintenance shows with a lot of production implied and many technical aspects that could either make or break the show – aspects that the singer relies on in order to put on a good show. Not with Sheeran.
While he may just be one of the biggest artists out there at the moment, and he honestly is, there is something magical about his shows still being just him and his guitar. Okay, and huge screens because he’s not playing for a small crowd anymore and about 15,000 people who all want to be able to see him perform his magic tricks. There is something wonderful about how he manages to perfectly combine his small-artist ways with his incredible ability to make a huge crowd lose their minds and sing their hearts out to every song. As he said, “If you know the words, sing. If you don’t, make them up.”
Let me start off with his opening acts. First, we have Ryan McMullan with more of an acoustic vibe. Check out his songs “Ghosts” and “You Don’t Dance” as a personal recommendation. Then, we have Anne-Marie, a super energetic pop singer that’s perhaps best known for her collab with Clean Bandit on “Rockabye”, but do check “Ciao Adios,” “Do It Right” and “Peak” as well. Both of them, with very different styles but equally enjoyable, set the mood for an evening filled with lyrical and musical greatness.
Ed’s set began with his now world famous single “Castle on the Hill,” followed by one of his most upbeat and raw tracks on his new album, “Eraser.” He then came back to his roots with “The A Team,” at which point basically everyone started bawling. Then came one of my absolute favorite moments, not only that night, but also in general in my life: the mashup of his songs “Don’t” and “New Man.” “Don’t” has always been my absolute jam from his album Multiply, and “New Man” is an hilariously honest song about your former girl’s new love interest. Both of them combined are… music magic. Fast paced and fun music magic. I don’t think I’ve ever been as out of breath as I was trying to keep up with him.
His set did not lose any quality as the night went on. Since it’s a tour that was announced even before he released his new album, it was obvious he was going to play most of his new songs instead of taking a trip down memory lane. So, as expected, he played some songs that have become, in about a month, some of his best and most memorable ballads (“Happier”, “Perfect”, “How Would You Feel”), as well as the ones with a more cheerful beat, like Irish-inspired tracks “Galway Girl” and “Nancy Mulligan”; I’m sure I lost my voice somewhere between the two. And he threw in the mix some songs from his previous album, Multiply: “Photograph”, “Thinking Out Loud”, the dark-ish track “Bloodstream” and “I See Fire”, which deserves a special mention for being performed in such a majestic, artful, beautiful manner (although it doesn’t even come close to the real experience, watch here). In fact, he layered all the songs in such a way that could only be described as masterly. They all fit together so perfectly and he transitioned from one to the other so effortlessly that it was honestly a pleasure.
Lastly, he finished off by singing his worldwide hit “Shape of You” and a long version of “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” – which is not a complaint at all, as it ended the show on the highest note, leaving us all hyped up and craving more Sheeran greatness. But hey, not so fast – I obviously can’t write about Ed Sheeran’s show without mentioning the big moment that Ed himself tweeted about: singing his song “Barcelona”… in Barcelona. If you haven’t had a listen, go do it now for a real mood lifter and your daily dose of good vibes. People sang, danced, screamed their lungs out to the words Ed had written, and was singing, about our home (watch here). In all honesty, I have never seen a crowd go that crazy before. It was truly something to remember.
@edsheeran: playing Barcelona tonight in Barcelona was a moment. love you guys x
All in all, it was one of the most mind-blowing, well-constructed, perfectly done shows I’ve ever been to – at least since he last came to Barcelona in November 2014. He is, hands down, an artist in every sense of the word. My dear Ed, it was honestly a moment for me too. All of it. Third round soon?