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ED SHEERAN

Ed Sheeran. Pic: Cole Maguire
Ed Sheeran. Pic: Cole Maguire

He hit those pedals and the crowd were blown away by a sound that suggested a full band were playing behind the curtains.

Perth Arena

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Opening the proceedings on night #1 of Ed Sheeran’s Perth Arena mini-residency was Australian artist, Conrad Sewell, who sang solo with piano accompaniment, warming up the audience with a set of soulful originals including his debut single, Hold Me Up,released last month.

Irish singer-songwriter Jamie Lawson, recently signed to Sheeran’s record label, took to the stage with nothing but his guitar and introduced the Perth crowd to his melodic acoustic love songs. His debut single, Wasn’t Expecting That, set the tone for a night of guitar and vocal brilliance.

The impatient crowd, consisting of mainly young women and teens, waited anxiously for Ed Sheeran to appear and the deafening screams that ensued as he walked on stage could be felt booming through the arena. The British music sensation was taken aback by the sheer size of the crowd in comparison to his 2013 shows held at Challenge Stadium and said, “This venue is rather big!”

He announced, “My name is Ed and my job for the next two hours is to entertain you!” With another wave of sonic screams, Sheeran filled the arena with an incredible, loud and full-sounding rendition of I’m A Mess. The reveal of a band and dancers expected at a concert of this magnitude never came and to everyone’s surprise, Sheeran gave an outstanding one-man show that won’t easily be forgotten.

Using a range of loop pedals, he would record a series of percussion tracks live, creating a most captivating build-up to each song. Standing alone on stage in just jeans, sneakers and a t-shirt, laidback Sheeran didn’t need bells and whistles to provide the audience with entertainment. He hit those pedals and the crowd were blown away by a sound that suggested a full band were playing behind the curtains.

He demonstrated his talent for various musical genres and dabbled with the likes of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition and Nina Simone’s Feeling Good as well as an impressive display of hip hop rhymes throughout his own songs and during the encore when he did a mash-up of hip hop hits In Da Club and Fancy.

“I never really made it a secret that Australia is my favourite place. It’s mostly because every time I come back you get a little more mental,” Sheeran laughed. Rounding out the show with his hit single, Sing, the entire arena erupted in song and continued even after he left the stage and the lights went up.

STEPHANIE CROCE

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