By Wal Reid
Artist: Ed Sheeran
Date / Venue: Saturday April 11th, Vector Arena, Auckland
When you're the most recognisable ‘ginga' in the world, have marketed the letter ‘X' world-wide and have a zillion radio hits you can pretty much do whatever you like. Ed Sheeran is living proof success hasn't gone to his head.
I mean the way he tweeted to the aid of X-Factor contestant Joe Irvine from the scathing ‘Moons' (what a media beat up) or this week's media school visit in Canterbury scored big brownie points with us Kiwi's. Like it or not, truth is mega-star Ed Sheeran does charm the pants off us the Vector Arena crowd inside looked amazing, totally packed, smart phones at the helm to capture the ‘instagood' moments. I mean who didn't go to a wedding last year that didn't play an Ed Sheeran song?
As Sheeran gingerly (‘scuse the pun) made his way on stage with guitar in tow and a couple of pedals sparsely spread out in front he murmured "My job is to entertain you for two hours and your job is to be entertained, is that ok?"
I'm A Mess and Lego House cordially excited the expectant crowd as he sung his way into the hearts of fans it was like witnessing the discovery of a true talent for the first time. Sheeran may not be a great singer technically but he has a natural resonance a beauty that suits his music. His feel for timing while playing guitar is pure class, even breaking a string during one of the songs didn't phase him, in fact he didn't miss a beat. Fans responded bigtime to the upbeat Don't mashed & looped up with 90s RnB hit No Diggity & Nina as the mostly female audience clamoured for attention, he romped through songs off his latest worldwide hit album X encouraging the Auckland audience.
"Do me a favour, sing out of tune, clap out of time, dance the way you want to dance, just have fun". Ed ballads Drunk and Photograph appeased as smart phones lit up the Arena like the Waitomo caves, while the opening poetic stanza of radio hits Bloodstream Thinking Out Loud showcased Sheeran's versatility connecting with the audience, with or sans guitar he rapped and sung his way through the more than generous set. His only apparent dilemma with so many songs which ones to cut loose?
All the hits, ok most of the hits were in there, A Team, Tenerife Sea, the Hobbit song and Sheeran's version of getting the crowd to sing harmonies (bad move) on Give Me Love while You Need Me I Don't Need You (Yep, He's up and coming like ‘fucking in an elevator') & smash hit Sing capped off a satisfying night with the talented Suffolk lad.
Ed Sheeran is as nice in person as the media makes him out to be, a most likeable bastard who has an affinity with Aotearoa. I reckon as a nation we should just adopt Ed Sheeran he's just gagging for it, maybe get him a regular on Shorty St?