The magic of music


On a nippy Sunday evening, a lone ginger-haired singer-songwriter delineated musical enchantment on a stage as he held the arena’s attention with nothing more than a guitar and a loop station. Even disregarding his outstanding lineage, Sheeran had no need for backing singers or dancers — not with an audience this involved. Sheeran’s appeal lies in his mass likability and this showed in the make-up of the crowd which ranged from little kids to middle-aged couples and family groups. The singer-songwriter succeeded in capturing the undivided attention of the emotive crowd of about 10,000 with Ed Sheeran Live in Mumbai Concert brought to India by AEG Presents and PR Worldwide in collaboration with BookMyShow at Jio Gardens, BKC, Mumbai. Setting the tone for the evening for the India leg of Ed Sheeran’s Asia ÷ (divide) Tour was 23-year-old American artist Lauv who proved to be a worthy opener as he played crowd-friendly singles like “I Like Me Better” and “Easy Love”. Sheerios did not have to wait long to see their favourite redheaded musician. Promptly at 8:30pm, the man of the hour made his super casual entrance, strolling onto the stage sans introduction in a t-shirt and jeans, with the commotion from the crowd beginning immediately as he started to strum the chords to his ode to his hometown, “Castle on the Hill.” The singer from Halifax, United Kingdom ripped through the soaring guitar anthem whose rock band-influenced guitar builds crescendoed to a stadium-filling chorus. The singer showed that he’s a dominant performer with “Eraser,” with a perceptible attempt expended in the song’s dexterous autobiographical rap, but the architecture of its percussive climax and falsetto harmonies was so efficiently constructed that one might not have noticed Sheeran at labour. Though he appeared and sounded every inch of a pop star, the message of the song seemed sincere as his smile never faded throughout his 17-song set on his 109th tour stop. The crowd remained committed to emulating Sheeran’s passion, which seemed to peak during “Bloodstream.”. Building from a touch of turbulence to a stormy climax as fireballs and gloomy clouds filled the background screens, this song surely did stand out. He shifted from “Bloodstream” to mid-set folksy ballad “Happier,” bringing a nice change of pace with its mellower tone and sentimental rendition. “Perfect” started out quietly and then soared higher with Sheeran layering backing vocals and beats as the crowd sang along, finally ending with one of the most resoundingly passionate climaxes to a ballad you’ll ever hear live. He performed anthemic songs from each album, but bulk of his setlist came from his latest album, “Divide,” performing 10 songs from that album, five from “Multiply” and two from his debut album “Plus” with songs like “Dive”, “Heart’s Don’t Break Around Here”, “How Would You Feel”, “Thinking Out Loud”, “Photograph”, “I See Fire” getting some of the night’s biggest singalongs. It wasn’t just the ballads that got the fans elated – the up-tempo numbers, including “Sing”, “New Man”, “Shape Of You” and “Galway Gal” got them dancing and even rapping along.The concert didn’t seem like a show put on by one man, but rather an event that relied on the inclusion of an arena-sized group. From the pit to the periphery of the arena, Sheeran urged each member of the audience to sing as loud as they could and dance to whichever move they pleased. In an era where people seem to always be occupied by technology, it was a welcome change to see fans ditch their devices to wave both arms in the air and grab their neighbour for a dance during Sheeran’s Irish jig “Nancy Mulligan” inspired by his grandparents’ own love story, and “A Team” – done fully acoustic, with no looping, amid a sea of cellphone flashlights and a mass singalong. It was a high-octane conclusion with the night’s raucous, rap-happy closer “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” which seemed to be a true statement for every person in the crowd and provided a quick glimpse at Sheeran’s beatboxing skills. Because without Sheeran’s performance, how would they know what it was like to witness the greatest solo artist of this generation – the 26-year-old is just a joy to watch, with his boundless energy, his crowd-pleasing banter, and of course, those oh-so-singable tunes!  By the time he ended the concert it was safe to say that his Indian fans had truly got their money’s worth. Ed Sheeran who was wearing an ocean blue Cama Balpande of BookASmile kurta stated, “India you are always special and this night is magical.”





Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here