Monday, 28 May 2018

Ed Sheeran: The Divide World Tour

Ed Sheeran: The Divide World Tour
Ed Sheeran: The Divide World Tour


You know when you book tickets so far in advance that something just creeps up on you? That’s what it felt like when I booked Ed Sheeran tickets this time last year.

I’ve been to a lot of concerts in the past for a lot of big artists but this one was definitely a stand out to me (and probably the people who filled the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on four consecutive nights too – a pretty hefty achievement for a guy who seems just as surprised as we are that he made it this big). Normally with a gig that big, you’d expect a massive production, but in reality, he took to the stage with just a guitar and a loop pedal so that he could create all of the backing tracks live on the night. There was no band, no dancers, no pyrotechnics. Regardless of whether you’re a fan of his music, there’s a lot of skill involved in getting an entire arena absolutely bouncing when you’re up there on stage alone. I loved that because of this, each show is unique as the tracks get wiped every night and recreated the next time.

This show was also my first stadium experience which definitely made it different for me. As I’m not a sports fan, I had never been in a stadium before in my life and I think the beautiful weather and being seated in a block fairly near the stage were deal breakers. If we’d been in the furthest block in pouring rain, I imagine it would have been a bit of a shit night! It definitely took a bit longer to get the crowds in the stands warmed up as when you’re seated, the crowds are like sheep – if one stands, they all do, if nobody does, you’re sat for the night. It was maybe two or three songs in before everyone was getting involved but after that, the atmosphere was incredible.

The only concern I’d had on the evening of the show was around the logistics of getting there and back as having never lived in a city with a tram system, there’s always that little unknown of will I make it back in time for my train afterwards. In my mind, it was going to be absolute chaos getting out of the stadium but in reality, it was organised how it would be if it was a match day – you were separated based on how you were getting home (whether you were walking, going to the carpark or getting a tram). As we ducked out just before the end, we managed to get on a tram within 15 minutes of leaving the stadium and it was only for 10 minutes or so to get back to the station. We ended up back around 40 minutes before our train home which worked well for us.

As a gig venue, it was great to see an artist I love perform on a bigger scale and when it was a warm night, for it to be open air as the sun went down, that really added to the atmosphere. But at the same time, I still prefer smaller venues and I think Leeds Arena is probably still my favourite – it’s small enough to feel like you’re not miles from the stage no matter where you’re sat but big enough for it not to be a nightmare getting tickets.

Overall, it was a fantastic evening and we felt like we’d got a great deal paying £50 per ticket to see Jamie Lawson and Anne-Marie too. Would I go back to a stadium? It probably wouldn’t be my first choice of venue but if it was in the summer for a massive artist? Absolutely.

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