“Divide” tour unites fans through engaging performance

BY SHANTY FIERRO
ONLINE MANAGING EDITOR

The American Airlines Arena was filled with screaming, laughing and dancing on August 30, as Ed Sheeran took the stage with his “one man band” performance that was unlike any other on his “Divide” tour.

Prior to the main event, opening act James Blunt warmed up the crowd by playing some soothing melodies, including his most well-known song “You’re Beautiful”. Blunt’s set list was an array of sad and upbeat songs, which helped get the audience in a relaxed and cheerful mindset, prior to Ed Sheeran’s performance.

Once Blunt was off the stage, the audience waited in anticipation for Ed Sheeran to come out. All of a sudden, the arena went black, and fans started screaming so loudly that the floor was shaking. Then, without warning, the lights flashed back on, and Sheeran wason stage, already playing his first song of the night, ”Castle on the Hill”. Sheeran did not have a band with him, it was only him and his guitar, with a looper pedal to record the tunes he makes and play them back, and pedal board to make any additional beats needed for his songs.

After the energetic first song, Sheeran welcomed the crowd to his show, and said that tonight will be a “happy night with lots of dancing,” and that the audience would be without a voice by the end of the night.

Sheeran performed a medley of “New Man” and “Don’t” that made the crowd go wild, and showcased his ability to change his pitch so quickly and effortlessly. The mix of these two songs also emphasize how much his music has evolved over the course of his career, since “Don’t” was in his previous album X, while “New Man” is in his newest album “Divide”.

After a few songs, Sheeran stopped the concert and pointedat the second row. The crowd was puzzled at first, but Sheeran then shared that there was a one-year-old baby, sitting calmly in the second row. The baby’s mother said the baby’s name was Cooper, and that his middle name is “Sheeran”, causing both Sheeran and the crowd to laugh. The next song “Dive” was dedicated to baby Cooper, and the whole arena sang the lyrics “don’t call me baby,” always bringing a smile to Sheeran’s face. The whole song felt like a bonding experience between Sheeran and his fans, creating a more intimate and comfortable setting.

Sheeran then played one of his newer more upbeat songs “Barcelona,” however; he changed the lyrics from “in Barcelona” to “in Miami.” This subtle change made a huge difference to the crowd, since he once again made the concert feel more personalized towards the audience that was present.

The next song he played was a request that a fan had made before the show. Sheeran said he did not understand why the young fan chose this song because it was “so sad,” but he would do anything to make his fans happy, so he played “Supermarket Flowers.” This slow song is about the death of a mother, or maternal figure, and prompted many emotional responses from audience members.

A few songs later, Sheeran played his “favorite song” from his new album, which was arguably one of the most romantic songs he has written, “Perfect.” During the song, romance was in the air as couples young and old hugged or danced with each other. He segued from that song to another romantic song “Photograph,” which increased the romantic atmosphere in the arena.

Sheeran then got off stage after performing one of his old songs “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” and the audience was roaring, hoping that he would come out to do one last song. After a few seconds of the crowd cheering and calling his name, Sheeran came back on stage with a Miami Heat Jersey, to perform his final song, “Shape of You.” Since he was performing in the American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, it was a kind gesture for him to wear the team’s jersey.

Sheeran thanked the crowd after his last song, and left the stage amidst thunderous applause. Overall, the concert was a perfect blend of upbeat songs like “New Man” and “Barcelona”, and his slower songs like “Photograph” and “The A Team”, as well as his old and new music. The audience was able to witness how much Sheeran’s music has changed as time went on, and how his stage presence would shift with every song. All of the personalized moments made the concert feel more special, and increased the connection between Sheeran and his fans.

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