Five Best Moments – Billboard

Five Best Moments – Billboard

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“My dream is to play small theaters in England…This has gone way beyond,” says Ed Sheeran to a sold-out SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. on Saturday night (Sept. 23). 

Indeed, playing to a record-breaking 81,000 fans – the most tickets the venue has sold for a one-day event – is staggering. But the show itself is just as surprising. Sheeran commands the stadium all on his own, accompanied primarily by his five loop stations and various guitars. And while he is occasionally joined by a band, a first for his tours, his biggest collaborator is arguably the stage itself. 

Surrounded by six smaller stages (from which the band played) with guitar pick-shaped screens hanging above each one, Sheeran stands alone in the center of it all, on a circular and spinning stage. Complete with a rotating ring (that looks much like a treadmill in track form) and retractable stairs, it seems to move and breathe in perfect harmony with Sheeran – and that’s no small task, as the artist seemingly never stopped moving, demonstrating the agility and stamina of a boxer in the ring.

For the following two-plus hours, he delivers his own version of an Eras Tour, performing songs off each of his mathematical equation-named albums – +, ×, ÷ =, − – as well as a medley of hits from No. 6 Collaborations Project and even a special, and seemingly spontaneous, live debut off his forthcoming release Autumn Variations.

Sheeran often reminds the crowd that it’s been five years since he last toured America, during which he’s only accumulated more hits and sharpened his vocals, musicianship and mental agility. And while he has always performed on his own, doing so for over 80,000 people felt particularly impressive – as were these five moments from the set. 

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