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Review: ‘Divide’ tour brings fans together

Ed Sheeran gives stellar performance

Fans+hold+up+flashlights+during+Ed+Sheeran%27s+performance+of+%22Perfect%22+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+27.
Fans hold up flashlights during Ed Sheeran's performance of

Fans hold up flashlights during Ed Sheeran's performance of "Perfect" on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Photo by Valerie Benzinger

Photo by Valerie Benzinger

Fans hold up flashlights during Ed Sheeran's performance of "Perfect" on Saturday, Oct. 27.

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Pop singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, touring alongside alternative rock group Snow Patrol and electronic singer Lauv, made his first Texas stop on Saturday, Oct. 27 at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The show opened with Lauv and Snow Patrol, each performing a short set with the biggest hits of their careers. Although the music and overall experience of both opening performances were enjoyable, the jumbotron in the center of the venue was not functioning, making it nearly impossible to see the performers for those who sat in seats that were higher up or did not directly face the front of the stage.

After the opening groups finished their sets, fans weren’t left in anticipation for Sheeran to begin his performance for a long time. The transition period between the groups passed quickly, and before the crowd knew it, Sheeran entered the stage and opened with one of many hit songs, “Castle on the Hill.” This upbeat song made the crowd excited and ready for the night to continue. He also performed “Eraser,” another upbeat song that continued the excitement from the opening tune.

After his first two songs, Sheeran clarified that, unlike some other artists, all of the music at the concert was performed live and solely by himself. The only external help he had came from a set of foot pedals to assist him in layering different rhythms and strumming patterns throughout the songs; other than that, everything came straight from him or his guitar. The fact that all of the complexly layered songs were created completely live on stage by Sheeran impressed fans greatly and showcased Sheeran’s musical talent.

Between songs, Sheeran often paused his set to interact with the crowd. He told jokes and showed off the playful sides of his personality, which helped the audience to see him as a down-to-earth person and not just another celebrity. Sheeran told stories of previous shows on the tour or other shows he had attended, relating to his audience’s experience at concerts. He also showed his bubbly personality by dancing around the stage throughout the entire performance, rather than standing still and remaining serious.

Throughout the concert, Sheeran switched back and forth from his upbeat, dance-friendly songs to his more slow and romantic tunes. The transitions between the two vastly differing styles of music were quite jarring at times due to the dramatic shift in energy. Individually, however, the songs were well-executed.

Sheeran chose to show off his widely varied skills during his performance. During the song “Tenerife Sea,” the singer used his vocal range to add multiple layers of vocals, which helped make the song more unique. For the final song of the night, “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” Sheeran utilized his talents in beatboxing and rapping to bring the performance to its full potential.

When Sheeran came onto the stage during his encore, he was wearing a custom-made Dallas Cowboys jersey with his name on the back. This was a special moment for fans of the Cowboys and Sheeran alike because it showed his respect for the team.

With stellar vocals, a shining personality and stunning visuals to support him, Sheeran’s performance was an amazing experience for his audience. Despite some technical issues and the occasional jarring transition between slow and fast-paced songs, the concert was an enjoyable experience. Sheeran took advantage of his wide vocal range and used foot pedals to make the show the best it could be.

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Review: ‘Divide’ tour brings fans together