Madison Pastrick | Layout Editor & Ad Manager
On Sept. 29, a crowd of all ages filled PNC Park’s stadium to watch Ed Sheeran perform a very personal concert on his second stop in Pittsburgh for the ÷(Divide) Tour. Winning the audience from the moment he stepped on stage wearing a Mac Miller shirt, Sheeran played some old and new songs alike, all of which had fans dancing, weeping and singing at the top of their lungs.
Starting off with the upbeat and wistful hit, “Castle on a Hill,” this concert had a slight focus on the featured album of the tour, adding a number of fan-favorites from Sheeran’s earlier releases, such as “Thinking Out Loud,” “Photograph” and “The A Team.”
Sheeran encouraged fans to participate during his songs by dancing without fear of looking ridiculous and singing so loud that fans would wake up the next morning with no voice – what Sheeran considers a sure mark of a good concert. There was only one instance when Sheeran asked his audience to stay quiet and listen to the ballad, “Tenerife Sea,” and the park became completely silent.
Taking artistic liberty with several of his songs, Sheeran performed a compilation of “Don’t” and “New Man,” along with a surprising and soulful combination of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” and Sheeran’s own “I See Fire.”
Joking about the predominantly female audience, Sheeran did a special shout-out to all of the boyfriends and “superdads” in the crowd that didn’t really want to be there that night.
“You’re giving up a night of your time to do something for someone you love,” he said. He then dedicated the next performance of “Bloodstream” to this crowd with the request that they take a chance at enjoying his music and having fun that night.
Despite the fact that Sheeran has been on tour for over a year already, he recently announced his upcoming UK and European tour dates for next year following his South African stadium tour in March.
Snow Patrol was the second opener, a band that Sheeran has collaborated with on many of his songs and been on tour with in the past. This Northern Irish band played a lot of songs from their first new album in seven years, Wildness, in which they took on a more indie-sound with songs like “Empress,” differing from what they’ve written in the past. However, classic fan-favorites such as “Run” and “Chasing Cars” were performed to many audience members’ satisfaction as they swayed their phone flashlights and reminisced the previous decade.
Opening before Snow Patrol was Anne Marie, performing her final act on Ed Sheeran’s ÷tour. Playing hit songs like “Rockabye” and “Friends,” along with her recent collaboration with Sheeran, “2002,” Marie’s bubbly personality and energetic performance were a charming way to welcome the crowd.
This trio of United Kingdom performers really won over the hearts of Pittsburgh that night, keeping audience members interested all the way until Sheeran’s encore of “Shape of You” and a passionate performance of “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.” Afterward, Sheeran walked off the stage with one simple message, “Rest in peace, Mac Miller. Thank you.”