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Elizabeth is a Vancouver-based writer, editor, and author. Her first book “Beyond Black and White” is available now. She is an old soul who's young at heart, a human jukebox, and a corgi lady in training. Follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @ElizabethThe.

Concert Review: Ed Sheeran Brings Hits Together on Divide Tour

ed sheeran divide tour vancouver

Ed Sheeran at the Divide Tour in Vancouver on July 28th, 2017.

After traveling across Europe and Latin America, Ed Sheeran has brought his massively successful Divide Tour to North America. The down-to-earth and in-demand English singer-songwriter performed a sold-out concert at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on July 28th. With a setlist full of his hits from the last six years of his astronomical career, the folk-pop star proved without a doubt that he is still at the top of his A game.

james blunt divide tour vancouver

James Blunt at the Divide Tour in Vancouver

Opening the show was James Blunt, the self-deprecating though endearingly humble singer-songwriter famous for that one song everyone secretly (or not so secretly) dedicated to their high school crush. That’s right — “You’re Beautiful.” More than a basic one hit wonder, Blunt also performed two songs recognizable to acoustic music-loving fans — ”Bonfire Heart,” and “1973.” Rounding out Blunt’s set were tracks from his most recent album, The Afterlove, many of which he wrote with his pal Sheeran during sessions in Switzerland, including “Time of Our Lives,” “Heartbeat,” “Someone Singing Along,” “Don’t Give Me Those Eyes,” “Make Me Better,” “Bartender,” and “OK.” Throughout Blunt’s forty minutes in the spotlight, the audience was incredibly receptive to the singer, guitarist, and pianist, even giving him lights when requested. True to his joking nature, Blunt teased the crowd about using, judging, and generally making them feel uncomfortable, which he definitely accomplished the opposite of.

ed sheeran divide tour vancouver

Ed Sheeran at the Divide Tour in Vancouver

Sheeran’s Sheerios did not have to wait long to see their favorite redheaded musician. Promptly at 8:30pm, the man of the hour made his super casual entrance, strolling onto the stage sans introduction in a t-shirt and jeans, with the commotion from the crowd beginning immediately as he started to strum the chords to his ode to his hometown, “Castle on the Hill.”

In support of Sheeran’s latest album Divide (÷), his setlist included a selection of new tracks including  the dynamic “Eraser,” the lyrically curiosity-inducing “New Man” (which was fittingly mashed-up with the diss track “Don’t,”) the sentimental “Happier,” his happy-go-lucky current single, “Galway Girl,” the touching “Heart’s Don’t Break Around Here,” the nostalgic “Photograph,” Ed’s favorite song he has written thus far, “Perfect,” and the song inspired by his grandparents’ own love story, “Nancy Mulligan.”

With just a pedal board and a rotation of guitars as his accompaniment on stage, the one-man showman is a wonder to watch live in concert. With a voice that can fill the whole arena, Sheeran also acts as his own band and producer. Through intricate techniques of self-sampling, he creates his own backing tracks and framing beats, as well as utilizes the noise of the crowd to fuel his performances night after night. His enthralled audience brought to life the line “under the light of a thousand stars” by illuminating the room with their phone flashlights during “The A Team,” participated in mirroring the pulsing beat of “Bloodstream” with arm movements, and sang out loud to every verse and every chorus of every song. During his acoustic guitar rendition of “Dive,” Sheeran encouraged a friendly rivalry between the neighboring Canadian city of Edmonton in a contest of “Which crowd can sing louder?” (Spoiler alert: Vancouver won.) The admission that the west coast city is his favourite in Canada was met with wild approval. It is quite impressive how Sheeran can capture everyone’s undivided attention and connect with each person in the audience.

ed sheeran divide tour vancouver

Ed Sheeran at the Divide Tour in Vancouver

The inclusion of his other hits from his still young career made for a well-rounded set that illustrated why the 26-year old musician is considered the biggest solo artist of his generation. His cover of the iconic “Feeling Good,” which preceded “I See Fire,” his haunting soundtrack song for The Hobbit, provided the drama and chills of the evening. The heartfelt troubadeur made hearts swoon with the wedding floor staple, “Thinking Out Loud” and got the party revved up again with the catchy “Sing.”

For his encore, Sheeran ended with an explosive twofold performances of the chart-topping lead single “Shape of You” and the hip-hop influenced kiss-off track from his early days, “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” in which Sheeran shows off his flair for rapping. As Sheeran wore Michael Buble’s Vancouver Canucks hockey jersey and waved a Canadian flag high in the air, his fans pledged their allegiance to the singer with boy-next-door charm and tremendous raw talent.

Ed Sheeran is currently performing across North America and will be extending his Divide Tour to Asia, Oceania, and back again to Europe until August 2018. For concert dates, visit edsheeran.com.

Images and videos courtesy of the writer.

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  1. Ed Sheeran Brings Hits Together on the Divide Tour – Elizabeth Rosalyn - August 1, 2017

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