Ed Sheeran | 05.10.15

live ed-sheeranWatching Sheeran’s creativity blossom right in front of their eyes, the crowd seemed mesmerized not only by his skills, but by his presence.



Scottrade Center, St. Louis

Ed Sheeran’s performance last Sunday night at the Scottrade Center was hands down the best musical performance St. Louis has seen this year. Just days into the North American leg of his Multiply tour, Sheeran blew away the crowd with his metamorphosing talent and boundless energy. Beginning the night with “I’m a Mess,” he took the stage solo with nothing more than a guitar and two microphones.

With 14 moveable flat screens crawling up the wall behind him in a staggered and artistic display, Sheeran brought each and every song to life in a sort of musical and visual canvas of pyrotechnics. As if all that wasn’t enough to keep even the most attention deficient of concertgoers entertained, he consistently powered up the crowd with his most popular tracks, and then upped the ante by morphing them into some of music’s most recognizable classics. Only three tracks into the set, he enticed the crowd with “Don’t,” the chart-topping track only to be outdone by mixing in Chris Brown’s “Loyal,” and then eventually sliding into Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.” By the end of the song, the entire crowd was waving their hands in the air and singing backup to his vocals.

If you’ve never seen Sheeran live, you’re missing out. More than a one-man band, he is the ultimate entertainer, encompassing the visual effects of pyrotechnics and ultraviolet lights with advanced use of technology-driven audio techniques. Using a pair of microphones, a guitar, and a looper pedal, he created an aural illusion that left many confused early on. A few songs into the set, he purposely pointed out his looper pedal, assuring the crowd the music was not previously recorded; rather, he was actually recording it live and playing it back to give the illusion of backup singers and a band. He started out recording the background beat, then layers of backup vocals before he officially began each song. Watching Sheeran’s creativity blossom right in front of their eyes, the crowd seemed mesmerized not only by his skills, but by his presence.

As a prelude to his performance of “The A Team,” he treated the crowd to a short anecdote. In 2013, when his music began to gain popularity, Sheeran moved “just four hours away from here,” to Nashville to spend a year writing and promoting his music. During that time, he found himself in St. Louis in the office of the program director of a local radio station. Obviously, his persistence paid off.

Other songs we heard tonight were “Lego House,” “Drunk,” “Thinking Out Loud,” “Make It Rain” from Sons of Anarchy, “All of the Stars” from Fault in Our Stars, “I See Fire” from The Hobbit, and “Take It Back,” which featured snippets of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine.”

Sheeran closed the night with “Give Me Love,” but not before thanking the crowd for leaving their mothers on Mother’s Day to come see him. After a short standing ovation, the artist returned with an encore performance of “Sing” and “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” which he mixed with Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” and, later, “In Da Club” by 50 Cent. | Jennifer Manjarez

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