Selling out Wembley Stadium is becoming a bit of a habit for Ed Sheeran. The first time he filled the venue was during his Multiply world tour back in 2015, when he played three consecutive nights there. This time around, he has topped that by playing four! There really is no goal too big for the guy. And last Sunday (17th June) — as he played his final night in London, as part of his current European Stadium tour — we were once again reminded of just how incredibly talented the 27-year-old ginger dude from Suffolk really is.
Gig-goers flooded to the stadium in their thousands; lacing the streets with good vibes and happy faces, as they filtered through into the venue. Kicking off the evening and warming up the incoming crowd, was Ed Sheeran’s very own signee Jamie Lawson, followed by his bubbly pal Anne-Marie; who both set the tone perfectly for the rest of the night. A real buzz was beginning to rise, as Sheeran’s arrival edged closer. And not a minute later than planned, the hit-maker had appeared. Signalled by the screens across the stage flashing on, we were given a behind-the-scenes viewing of Ed making his way out to join us. Wearing a smile stretching happily across his face, Sheeran was welcomed by the screams and cheers of thousands. There was no doubt that this was going to be an incredible night.
From the very first strum of his guitar, a surge of excited energy set up home within the crowd, as the well-known sounds of his work began to play out through the stadium. Ed opened his set with ‘Castles on the Hill’ and ‘Eraser’, from his latest album ÷, before pausing to greet his fans: “It’s such an honour to play this gig — thank you so much for giving up your Sunday”, he said.
Throughout the night, Ed Sheeran interacted with his crowd perfectly. Recalling moments from his career that lead him here today. It’s mind blowing to think how far he has come. One man, his guitar and a loop pedal conquering stages all over the world. Now that’s inspiring! Speaking of his first ever gig in London, aged 15, Ed told us how “not a lot of people turned up”, before going on to joke that there was “quite a lot of people here tonight”. He was right about that, as close to 90,000 fans turned up for this one. As a nod to the massive climb his career has taken him on, Ed went on to perform the track that has accompanied him from the start ‘The A Team’. Embodied in its storytelling lyrics, the tune is a perfect example of the original talent he has always possessed.
In true Sheeran-style, we were treated to a good couple of track mash-ups during the set too, which just like the man himself, oozed a coolness that you just can’t get anywhere else. He merged ‘Don’t’ with the brilliant ‘New Man’, which brought a good bit of quirk and fun to his performance. Before surprising us again later in the night, reworking Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’ with his very own ‘I See Fire’, where he was echoed by the vocals of the entire crowd. It was incredible.
Mellowing the venue and whisking us into a heart-melting state were favourites such as ‘Dive’, ‘Happier’ and ‘Thinking Out Loud’, before lovey-dovey vibes were sent gushing through the stadium in abundance with Ed’s performance of ‘Perfect’. Made even beautiful by the crowd, who turned themselves into a sea of a sparkles with the use of their phone lights. It was stunning.
Each and every song performed felt pretty much faultless, despite the wear on his throat from the previous three London gigs, the honey and lemon drinks he was downing throughout the night seemed to be working. We were loving every minute, and going by his happy on-stage presence, Ed Sheeran appeared to be enjoying himself too. ‘Galway Girl’ and ‘Nancy Mulligan’ sparked a noticeable increase in energy, causing some fans to truly get in the spirit by breaking out in a bit of Irish-dancing during the performance. ‘Sing’ followed, which peaked the energy once more.
The night was coming to an end, but not before we got a much-loved encore from the man of the night. Called back to the stage by thousands of fans chanting his name, so loud it literally rung in your ears, Sheeran jumped back into the spotlight for one more hit of music. ‘Shape of You’ ensured the whole stadium were on their feet, taking in every last drop they could of what was left of the amazing gig, before Ed threw it back to his debut album for an epic, passion-fuelled performance of ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’. Both star and fans, belting out the last of the lyrics until our voices faded.
As always, Ed Sheeran delivered a memorable night for everyone. Which was evident from the crowds buzzing energy as they edged their way out of the Stadium and back onto the Wembley streets.
Not bad for a Sunday, eh!
Words and photos by Demi Leigh McGrane