A performance at Wembley Arena is known as the pivotal moment in many artist’s careers – the defining moment in their careers. Surrounded by darkness and in a stadium filled with almost 90,000 people, a small character in a blue lumberjack shirt, jeans and clutching an acoustic guitar appears on the stage.
To fans of Ed Sheeran his scruffy attire and demeanour on stage comes as no surprise. In an industry where live performances are often saturated with pyrotechnics, dance routines and big gimmicks, there’s something quite refreshing and undeniably brave in which the 24 year old singer songwriter approaches his first of three performances at Wembley Stadium.
With nervous laughter Sheeran comments on the vast number of people in the audience, before continuing onto note that a live video will be filmed during his performance at Wembley. Something that he hasn’t done since his performed at Bedford Pub in Balham – a far cry from the stage he is standing on tonight.
Taking to the stage with nothing more than his acoustic guitar and subtle yet scruffy charm, Sheeran creates a mood an intimacy that feels as though you’re watching a bloke down the pub during an open mic night. Of course this part of Sheeran’s talent and charm – the ability to focus his performance on his lyrics, musical ability and himself.
While the concept of a two hour performance in front of 87,000 people may seem bold, perhaps even a naive move to some, Sheeran manages to execute a captivating and energetic performance capable of maintaining the attention of the audience for the next 120 minutes.
It’s a step-up from the pub circuit which Sheeran originated from, but one that he takes in his stride. Blasting out classics and crowd pleasers such as first single A-Team, Lego House and Thinking Out Loud; through to Take it Back, an arguably less well known song to the mainstream, having appeared as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of his album. A cover of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ also made it to the set list, with the singer putting his own stamp on the classic tune.
A shining example of Sheeran’s continual rise to the top and fame is further emphasised when he joined on stage for a duet by Elton John, one of the artists who, along with Jamie Foxx back spotted Sheeran’s talents back in 2011. Together the duo perform a spellbinding performance of the classic, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.
The evening climaxes with two of Sheeran’s most popular songs, with the singer concluding one of the biggest performances of his career with his biggest hits – You Need Me, I Don’t Need You and Sing. With 87,000 fans chanting the lyrics and two hours of nothing but pure musical entertainment provided by nothing more than Ed Sheeran and his guitar, his performance at Wembley cements his position as one of the most talented and exciting artists of modern times.