Ed Sheeran, 02 Arena, review: 'Some kind of musical Moses'

No one without biblical powers could have had such command over the 02 Arena

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Ed Sheeran is some kind of musical Moses.

He had such control over his audience that he convinced 20,000 people to wave their “hip-hop hand” all the way through his so-called urban-inspired material - an act that only someone with biblical or hypnotic powers could have induced.

Sheeran stepped on stage just a man with a guitar to deafening applause only given to true pop headliners. All he had to do was climb on top of a speaker and the packed arena erupted into wild screaming.

He focused largely on material from second album X, already 2014's biggest-selling UK album and the record that led BBC1 Xtra to questionably name him the most influential artist in contemporary urban music. His rap skills, demonstrated in “Runaway”, “The Man” and “Don't”, were often more Inbetweeners than Biggie Smalls, not that the audience cared. His cover of Blackstreet's “No Diggity” and “Bloodstream” was met with more punishing hip-hop hands. By the time “A-Team” was played the waves of illuminated phones resembled manic fireflies.

Sheeran's appeal has always been rooted in his earnest wholesomeness, and while his 02 performance was imbued with a bashful confidence, he was in complete command of his ever-growing disciples.