REVIEW: Ed Sheeran charms Brisbane
WHEN Ed Sheeran says 'sing', Brisbane obliges.
Any audience does these days of course. For the man who sold a record-breaking million plus tickets on the Australin leg od his Divide tour, 60,000 people singing on command is the new normal.
Last night in his first of two shows at Suncorp Stadium, the crowd was like putty in Sheeran's hands.
After sell-out shows at Wembley he knows how to work an audience with singalongs, stories and showmanship.
His masterful use of loop pedals, which he still feels obliged to point out after being accused of lip syncing years ago, has a hypnotic effect as melodies and guitar riffs layer and wrap over each other.
Sheeran opened last night's show with Castle on the Hill, followed by Eraser, A Team, Don't and Dive.
There's surprisingly few fans recording on their phones, but when he asks them to use their phones as lights (I doubt many would remember the days of actual lighters) it's a stunning effect as Suncorp is illuminated in gently swaying white lights.
Ed thanks Bris-Vegas for the turnout and talks about his fond memories of playing to 60 people during his first visit down under at just 19 (he's 27 now).
One of the more light-hearted moments in the show comes when he acknowledges the "two percent": the disinterested boyfriends and "super dads" dragged along by the women in their lives.
There's an unexpectedly pleasant mash-up of Nina Simone/Michael Buble's Feeling Good and I See Fire and based on the eruptions of applause that pop up in the stadium a proposal or two during Thinking Out Loud.
There's a fair amount of dancing and screaming but this is a relatively tame, family-friendly affair.
Sheeran relates to the wallflowers, admitting he's a "boring" concert-goer himself who indulges in "a bit of a hip wiggle".
"Don't let anyone you've never met not let you have fun tonight... just do your weird dance moves," he says.
The two-hour set finishes on Sing, follows by an encore of Shape of You and You Need Me, I Don't Need You.
Vocally he's as consistent and reliable as anyone and, most importantly, he still looks like he's having fun on stage more than a year after kicking off the Divide World Tour in Italy.
Ed Sheeran plays Suncorp Stadium again tonight.