by Jerri Starbuck and Michael Mullenix
When Sheeran took the stage, he was met with a roaring cheer from the sold-out AT&T Center in San Antonio. Launching into the hit song ‘Castle On The Hill’ from his latest album Divide (2017), his stage lit up with lights and cameras and electrified the room.
Watching Grammy & Brit Award winner, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran spin an intricate and elaborate melody with looping sounds, and mostly a sole acoustic guitar is a new level of genius. The musics’ simplicity and relatability is a huge part of his success. A large portion of his set was focused on Divide with new hits such as ‘Eraser’, ‘Dive’, ‘Galway Girl’, and of course the ‘Shape Of You’ (which broke records for most weeks on Billboard Hot 100 Top 10-over 14 weeks at No.1) making it’s spot in rousing encores.
See our full photo gallery from the show on Austin 101 Magazine.
According to Billboard Magazine, in addition to its Hot 100 reign, “Shape” topped the Radio Songs chart for 12 weeks, Digital Song Sales for 10 weeks and Streaming Songs for four frames. It has drawn 813 million on-demand U.S. audio and video streams and sold over 2.3 million downloads according to Nielsen Music, while its cumulative radio audio audience reach has surpassed over 4.6 billion impressions. It’s already the top selling Album of 2017 (and was after just one week after the debut). He’s only 26 years old, folks.
Ed also peppered in some mainstays like ‘Bloodstream’ and ‘Thinking Out Loud’ from the 2014 album X. Remember Sheeran’s music video where he went all in and took dance lessons and starred in it? So memorable and shows he’s adventurous and willing to try new things.
A notable moment in the show came when one gentleman in the audience used the song ‘Photograph’ as the moment to propose to his girlfriend (SHE SAID YES!). The moment drew enough attention that even Ed noticed, congratulating the recently engaged couple and dedicating the next song, ‘Perfect’ to them.
Curious what the set list looks like on his tour? Here are some statistics and the actual setlist from San Antonio. It’s hard to pick Sheeran’s top songs since he’s had so many over his brief years. See if you agree with Billboard’s best songs.
Sheeran’s success as a top selling artist is also partly due to his likability- he’s a down to earth, humble kid from Suffolk, UK who is personable and relatable. He’s adorable like a teddy bear (with gnarly tattoos). His two year break -and distancing from social media (Check this) -is just one of those things that make fans love him even more. The fact that he’s had a cameo on TV’s top-rated Game of Thrones (HBO) doesn’t hurt either.
Setting the tone of the night James Blunt took the stage and immediately started in on a set of songs from his new album, ‘The Afterlove‘. Making a joke about the crowd being a test audience for his new material he played through ‘Time Of Our Lives’, ‘Someone Singing Along’, and ‘Don’t Give Me Those Eyes’. Blunt has a tremendous voice and between songs was no stranger to self-deprecating humor about his popularity in America compared to Sheeran’s, which usually was met with a cry of “You’re Beautiful” from the audience-the hit song he played shortly after.