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Ed Sheeran Concert Review (Montreal)

Ed Sheeran Concert Review (Montreal)

Last night in Montreal, concert-goers braved a torrential downpour to catch a glimpse and get an earful of Ed Sheeran. Recently, we chatted with the British musician during our video interview with him, when he opened for Snow Patrol. Just five months later, he was welcomed back with open arms and a sold out performance at the Olympia Theatre.


As Ed Sheeran took the stage, I coudn't help but wonder whether he would live up to his reputation of being a great live act. I needn’t have worried.

Ed Sheeran Concert Review - UpVenue

His stage setup was deceptively simple: just a man and his guitar. His live show was honest, even vulnerable at times. For many of his songs, it felt like his diary was being sung out loud, contributing early on to his connection with the audience. These intimate moments were generously scattered among the equally enjoyable upbeat tracks. Regardless of the song type, the crowd’s energy level remained high throughout his set.

Every step of the way, Sheeran emphasized audience involvement. He even got the fans in the balcony on their feet for the entire duration of the show—not an easy feat to accomplish. The Olympia Theatre filled with voices. It was difficult not to participate given Sheeran’s passion and, of course, the fans' enthusiasm.

From the first notes uttered by Sheeran, the audience responded by screaming, chanting, singing, clapping, and dancing. In fact, I needed earplugs—not for the performance, but for the applause between songs.

The fans' energy was invigorating in itself, and prompted more of the same. The only issue, however, was the difficulty involved in quieting the crowd during songs where Sheeran sang unaccompanied by his guitar, or even microphone. There were rounds of rogue “I love you!” screams, followed by hundreds of people yelling, “Shut up!”

Ed Sheeran Concert Review - UpVenue

This genre-bending musician is difficult to categorize. Weaving elements of folk, rock, rap, beatboxing, and pop into his music, Sheeran kept fans on their toes, as they wondered what they would hear next. 

Highlights were many. While the set focused on his recent album release, +, the audience sang along to every song, frequently drowning out his voice. He performed many fan favorites from the album, including U.N.I., Drunk, Wake Me Up, and Small Bump. 

During This, he instructed everyone to hug one another while singing along. "If you don't know the words," he remarked, smiling, "just make them up!" He went on to encourage fans to interact with each other, taking himself out of the spotlight momentarily.

What did the audience do while he tuned his one guitar, you ask? Well, they sang. "Bow chicka wow wow" was the tune.

Before performing Kiss Me, Sheeran explained the origin of the song. Written for his godparents who had originally married other people then separated, the pair supported each other as best friends until one day, his godfather proposed to his godmother. While this was a far sweeter story than my retelling of it, I can say that by the time the story was over and the music began, the crowd sang in earnest, still under the spell cast by Sheeran and this love story. He then proceeded to encourage any best friends in a similar situation to confess their love to each other instead of potentially missing their chance. 
 
The set ended with Lego House. The audience was given a choice: if they'd enjoyed the show but had heard enough for the night, they could leave and he'd go offstage permanently. If they wanted more, he'd come back onstage. Needless to say, he was called—nay, demanded—back onstage. 
 

Ed Sheeran Concert Review - UpVenue

Click on the photo above to see more Ed Sheeran pictures.
 
The encore turned into a party. An extended version of You Need Me, I Don't Need You involved a great deal of dancing, clapping, and singing, and even rapping on Ed Sheeran's behalf. While lengthier song versions can be tedious at shows, his rendition was upbeat, fun, and constantly changing.
 
At this point in the show, Sheeran asked the audience to be quiet again. Eventually, they complied. He began to sing Parting Glass, an Irish tune that began unaccompanied, without even a microphone. "Goodnight, and joy be with you all" echoed throughout the venue like a sweet farewell to his friends after an amazing night. His finale, The A Team, gave fans the opportunity to sing one last time.

Ed Sheeran embodies the old saying that you don't need bells and whistles to put on a great show. This one man and his guitar makes its easy to see why he's gaining fans left and right with his not-so-simple one-man show. His music, audience interaction, fusion of genres, and his stories make for an experience you won't soon forget. It’s one of the best shows I’ve seen, heard, and experienced in a long time.

 

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