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It seemed every girl in Adelaide had flocked to Thebarton Theatre Saturday night to catch a glimpse of everyone’s favourite ginger-haired singer Ed Sheeran, in his first visit to this city. The 21-year-old English singer/songwriter was in town as part of his Australian tour, riding on the immense success of his debut album +, which reached #3 on the charts here in Australia and was recently named the second biggest selling digital album ever in the UK.
Those lucky enough to get their hands on one of the hottest tickets in town were definitely in for a treat, with Sheeran proving to the 2000-strong crowd just how much of an entertainer he is. An entirely acoustic set, Sheeran relied only on his guitar and a loop pedal to provide the evening’s backing tracks, with his soulful and sugary-sweet pop vocals making sure there wasn’t a girl (or guy) in the room who wasn’t left swooning.
The evening wasn’t just a showcase of his musical talent though, Sheeran himself proved to be adorably charismatic; “story time” between songs had some wickedly funny and “aww”-inspiring anecdotes, while he also took advantage of the very vocal crowd (‘very’ being quite the understatement) to turn us into his personal gospel choir, giving us singing lessons and lyrics to belt out at every opportunity.
The golden moments in his set came from Kiss Me and the hauntingly beautiful Wayfaring Stranger, the moments when the screams of “I love you” and “marry me” died down, pure silence rang over the theatre as the goose bump-inducing renditions had a girl behind me break down into tears, and I’m sure she wasn’t the only one.
His cover of Nina Simone’s Be My Husband proved that he has the musical knowledge in the bank, while the flow of his raps on Grade 8 and U.N.I ran so fast it was hard to keep up. The anthemic Drunk and Give Me Love provided some awe-inspiring sing-along moments, none more blown away than Sheeran himself. “I’ve been told not many artists visit Adelaide, so it’s my job tonight to make this THE PLACE to go for musicians in Australia” was later followed up by “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m kind of glad musicians don’t visit Adelaide because it makes you guys go more crazy!” Charmer.
Two hours after he took to the stage, Sheeran wrapped up his main set with the smoothly soulful Lego House. It wasn’t long before he returned to the stage however, with the thunderous roars and screams drawing him back out for an extended performance of You Need Me, I Don’t Need You. It was the song that broke through commercially, The A Team, that closed off his set; and it was met with deafening screams, the young Brit soaking up all the love Adelaide had for him one last time.
Those who missed out on tickets shouldn’t be too disappointed, with his next tour already announced for February next year, which also sees him upgrading venues to the Entertainment Centre.
(Review by Keisha Hanbury)