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The crowd was all too eager to give Ed Sheeran its love as he stepped onto stage, donning an acoustic guitar and a simple get up. Cheers and screams welcomed the British sensation to the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield Tuesday night as he strummed quietly alongside his own soulful vocals.
“My name’s Ed, and I’m here to entertain you,” Sheeran said, marking the beginning of a first-rate show.
As he dipped straight into a popular favorite, “Give Me Love,” spectators quickly fell into Sheeran’s sometimes melancholy and often profound world.
“You are not the audience,” Sheeran said. “You are the ultimate choir.”
This direction held throughout the show, the audience becoming the background singers Sheeran lacked, a quickly choreographed mass choir at the hands of the star himself.
The English crooner sang his way into the hearts of millions when his song “A-Team” hit the masses in 2011. It wasn’t long before Sheeran had men and women alike swooning over his uniquely angelic voice paired with his soul-bearing lyrics.
This show was the first major headlining show in the United States for the singer-songwriter.
Taking the performance to a softer mood, Sheeran hushed the audience with anecdotes, requesting no one become violent with obnoxious audience members and rather politely letting them know of their disrupting behavior.
With a quiet crowd, Sheeran serenaded the audience with songs like “Small Bump.” With songs such as “Drunk,” he encouraged passionate participation and enthusiasm by leaping onto speakers on stage and holding his hands out to the audience, egging them on to reach out in return and sing back to him.
A one man show, Sheeran produced his own band, using a loop station placed on stage. At one point the artist explained the mechanism and how it was synced to the screens behind him to act as a visualizer alongside the beats he created. Using the body of his guitar as a drum, his beat boxing and a multitude of rhythms and melodies on his guitar, he created complex sounds.
His ease behind the loop station impressed audience members, who watched in awe as Sheeran created impressive layers atop more layers, a charming gimmick alongside his seraphic vocals.
Another hush among the crowd allowed Sheeran to introduce a classic Irish song titled “The Parting Glass,” one he’d learned as a child from his father. Beginning in a-cappella, he silenced the crowd with the almost haunting melody, eventually bringing in a soft guitar to create an evocative harmony. Ending the song, he trailed into his familiar, initial hit, “A Team,” to which the crowd erupted.
The single raised controversy over its less than glamorous material, focusing on a girl submerged in prostitution and an addiction to crack cocaine. Sheeran now tries to use his fame factor to help raise money for the Bristol, England-based charity One25, a foundation that works to get vulnerable women, often working in prostitution, off the streets and build new lives.
After performing what he’d announced to be his final song, Sheeran re-emerged after a standing ovation to give a heated, zealous performance of his song “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.” The screens flashing images of break dancers, artistically portrayed sign language translations of the lyrics and vibrantly red lights flickering in and out with the energetic lyrics.
An indefatigable show, Sheeran presented the Denver crowd with the passion and heartfelt outpouring heard on his album, “+”. He left the audience wanting more, yet having heard nearly every song from the album, and kept the mood in check with comical anecdotes and personal interaction. His allowance and encouragement of the crowd’s participation in his performance left his fans pleased.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Megan Curry at Megan.firstname.lastname@example.org.