Dressed simply in blue jeans and a black Hoax brand shirt – the same shirt he performed in at the Grammys in February, a brand he became an ambassador for in January – Ed Sheeran returned to the Staples Center stage on Thursday, Aug. 10 for the first of three sold-out shows at the Los Angeles arena. The multi-Grammy Award-winning redhead looked like he just got back from the skate park and stopped at a bar to play a small gig – instead a crowd of more than 20,000.
Bringing the energy before Sheeran was opener Grammy Award-nominated British soft rock artist James Blunt, playing a full set that included his 2005 international hit single “You’re Beautiful.” Blunt shared a story about going on a ski holiday with Sheeran and collaborated in music-writing, including the song “Make Me Better,” which he jokingly said his wife said thanks to Sheeran, it is the most romantic song Blunt has ever written.
Around 8:35 p.m. Sheeran hit the stage. As soon as he strummed the first note of his hit single “Castle on the Hill” from his third and newest album “Divide,” the 26-year-old instantly showed that although his consistent grin and fashion look simple, his one-man show is far from stripped down.
Projections of scenic images of mystical roads and clouds circled around his face on large multi-layered screens, and immediately after finishing his first song, he stepped on his loop pedal to record the intro to his second song “Eraser” from the same album. Known for his art of live recording and looping multiple tracks on stage to create a full sound that has rattled arenas around the world, Sheeran demonstrated his multi-tasking ability impressively with “Eraser,” a song that has everything from various guitar sounds to his signature rapping skills.