Ed Sheeran dazzled a sold-out crowd at Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday, July 14, during the North American leg of his hugely successful Divide Tour.
Sheeran, in contrast to flashier contemporary bands, chose to amaze the crowd with only an acoustic guitar and his voice, rather than having a backing band. The method worked extremely well for his style of music, and he managed to make each song entertaining and exciting, with only one instrument. Each song was made distinctively interesting, with Sheeran using methods such as tapping on the guitar as if it were a drum for some songs, and playing and singing in others.
Sheeran opened up with “Castle on the Hill,” a single he released back in January. The intro of the song was met with exuberant cheers from the adoring crowd. Clearly, opening with the hit song was a wise choice.
After the applause in response to the first song died down, Sheeran dove into singing the second song of the night, “Eraser,” another hit with the crowd.
Along with singing many of the songs off of his new album, Divide, Sheeran also sang some classics such as “The A Team,” “Photograph,” “Sing” and “Thinking Out Loud.” He encouraged the crowd to sing along, saying “if you don’t know the words, make some up.”
In addition to giving beautiful renditions of all of his major hits, Sheeran also enhanced the performance by telling stories about some of the songs. For example, before singing “Nancy Mulligan,” Sheeran told the audience that he wrote the song for his grandparents. Knowing this story beforehand did not detract from the enjoyment of hearing Ed tell it himself — there was some kind of magic in hearing the words coming from him.
In addition, before playing “Hearts Don’t Break Around Here,” Sheeran explained that he never intended to play that song live, but after trying it out, he very much enjoyed it and wanted to continue doing it live. During this song, one of the most heartwarming moments of the concert occurred when a young man proposed to his girlfriend. There was cheering in the general area of the newly engaged couple, and, after completing the song, Sheeran acknowledged and congratulated the couple.
Another great moment during the concert was Sheeran’s choice to mash up the songs “Don’t” and “New Man.” These songs are two of my favorites by him, and both worked extremely well together. The end result sounded purely awesome.
“He’s unbelievable live,” said Napali Bridgelall ‘17. “Almost better than the recording, if that’s possible. It’s apparent that he’s so humble and just having fun with being famous. I love it.”
Overall, Sheeran put on a fantastic performance and gave every single person in attendance a night to remember forever.
“He has a great voice live and great showmanship,” said Brianna Cocuzzo ‘17. “All around, he did a wonderful job and really connected with the audience. I would recommend the show to anyone who loves good music.”
With so many Ed Sheeran concerts coming up in the area, such as the September 22 and 23 shows in Boston and the September 29, 30 and October 1 shows in Brooklyn, it is a great chance for Stags to get this amazing, unforgettable experience.