+ – = ÷ X Tour review | Ed Sheeran thrills and spills in dazzling display

Ed Sheeran took to the stage at the Principality Stadium, for the largest attended series of gigs in Welsh history.

Ed Sheeran makes a peace sign during a performance


Ed Sheeran took to the stage at the Principality Stadium, for the largest attended series of gigs in Welsh history.

On a production level, this show was utterly spectacular. A large-scale rotating stage in the centre gave a new concept to Ed’s tours, which normally feature the solo artist performing from a more conventional set up tucked in at one side of the stadium.

It made you wonder, how does spinning around a stage for two hours not make the Grammy Award-winning star feel nauseous? Regardless, he managed to deliver. Projected onto enormous guitar pics were futuristic graphic filters running on top of the live stream, ensuring everyone got an up-close view of the pop megastar.

The band were featured very infrequently, appearing to be concealed off the main stage, on their own individual platforms facing away from the crowd. Most of the songs were performed with a minimal setup featuring a loop pedal and guitar.

Photo: Zak Walters

Principality Stadium

Songs were broken up with brief interactions with the audience as Ed walked the crowd through his journey; from sending a mailing list asking if people wanted him to play music in their living room, to selling out 80,000 tickets in the country’s largest stadium.

While the pre-song chatter is welcomed and paints him as your average Joe, there are times where it’s a little jarring and the crowd just want hit after hit.

Ed’s lucky enough to have a plethora of bangers that get the whole audience singing at the top of their lungs and dancing the night away. The encore was nothing short of sensational. Blasting Shape of You, Bad Habits and You Need Me had everyone up on their feet, going wild. T

The set list, although filled with hit after hit, felt slightly disjointed at times – going from club hits, to slow acoustic pieces. Another notable movement saw Ed mix a mashup version of Don’t fused with No Diggity, referring to his plagiarism trial in which he showed to a court that many songs of the genre are inherently similar.

But let’s face it. In short, if you’re an Ed Sheeran fan – and let’s be honest, most people are – then you’re in for one hell of a night.

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