Ed Sheeran gave his fans exactly what they wanted during his sold-out show at WaMu Theater Thursday, Aug. 21 — a massive singalong.
“I want you to wake up tomorrow and still be singing,” said the 23-year-old British singer-songwriter as he skipped offstage after a nearly two hour set.
The crowd was still singing his hit single “Sing.”
For quieter songs such as “One,” “Tenerife Sea” and “Little Bird,” the audience could clearly be heard echoing Sheeran’s vocals. On his hits “Drunk,” “Give Me Love” and “The A Team,” he asked for participation and received a tidal wave of response.
Sometimes the crowd got carried away.
After the first chorus of fan favorite “Lego House,” Sheeran stopped the song because fans began singing the first verse again instead of the second.
“You sang the wrong words!” he said, laughing.
Sheeran’s concert marked the first in his 2014 U.S. tour. Equipped with only an acoustic guitar and a loop pedal, the British star played with the vitality and immense energy of a one-man band, layering harmony and rhythm, building up slowly to his vocals.
There were moments when he overdid it. “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” had so much going on that the original song was lost under layers of sound. But Sheeran’s musicianship was technically creative and made him more than just a guy with a guitar and some catchy melodies.
The show’s laughably silly visuals, splayed out across nearly 10 screens behind him, detracted from the simplicity of his songs. “Lego House” had images of Legos; his performance of “I See Fire,” written for the most recent installment of “The Hobbit,” was backed by clips of a dragon from the movie. “Sing,” the show’s finale, had cartoonlike eyeballs tumbling around an imaginary world and block letters asking the audience to “Sing!” and then “Louder”!
But the overproduction didn’t diminish Sheeran’s ability to connect with his audience and please his fans, overwhelmingly teenage girls, some of whom held up signs that said “You sound like sex” and “Aspiring musician.”
“It’s my job to entertain you and it’s your job to be entertained,” he said near the beginning of the set. And entertain he did.