Mumbai is ready to shower their love on English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who will perform in the city tonight. And VARSHA NAIK is on a song.
“All alone on stage with two microphones, a couple of guitars and his loop machine, and with this much he just holds you for over two hours,” says Niyati Joshi, a freelancer in the book space, who edits and evaluates manuscripts, as she recalls Ed Sheeran’s 2015 Mumbai concert. She’s looking forward to the same mad energy at Ed’s second live performance in the city this evening, at the Reliance JioGarden at 7 pm. The carrot-top artiste is known for his crooning voice and his signature performance style without a full band.
Love to Asia
The concert is part of the Asian leg of Ed’s world tour, supporting his third studio album ÷ (Divide). One of his biggest singles of 2017, Shape Of You is also featured on the album; the track which marked his first-ever #1 as a performer on the Billboard Hot 100. It has enjoyed immense popularity in India and has been celebrated with multiple cover versions and unique dance performances by its fans. The album features 16 songs including Eraser, Dive, What Do I Know? Supermarket Flowers and Ed’s other 2017 hit single, Castle On The Hill. The show will feature the very talented American musician, Lauv, who will open the show who’s best known for his singles I Like Me Better and The Other, and released his debut EP, Lost in the Light, in 2015.
The fortunate Mumbai
Due to fractures sustained on his right wrist and left elbow, Ed posted to Instragram in mid-October announcing that he would have to reschedule and even cancel some October and November gigs from his Asia tour. He had to reschedule his shows in Osaka, Tokyo and Manila while shows in Taipei, Seoul, Hong Kong and Jakarta had to be cancelled. He returned to stage this month in Singapore, and fortunately Mumbai has remained on the calendar as planned. No doubt, the city’s Sheerios are delighted, most of whom are likely to be in their late teens and early 20s. Vanessa D’Souza, a marketing professional, who missed Ed’s last concert here, decided to give this one a go, though she’s not a fan of big crowds. “It’s been over 10 years since I went to pop music concert. I know the audience may mostly be way younger than I am. I just hope the crowd is not too crazy and the experience is about the music,” she says.
Niyati’s excitement is in sync with the buzz in the city and tickets sold out in just 48 minutes when they went on sale in July, according to BookMyShow, the official concert ticketing partner.“I’d just been introduced to his music by a friend at that time, but watching him live was a completely different experience. He builds each track as he performs and then involves the audience in the process, which just adds to the magic, while jumping around like a crazy person on stage and all the while singing like an angel. I can’t pick a favourite song, it’s tied between Thinking Out Loud, You Need Me, and Don’t,” she says.
For Shweta Kumar, a writer, it’s lyrics that draw her to Ed’s work, “While I love bands and the high-energy of a massive concert, there’s something about singer-songwriters that touch a part of my soul, and that’s what I’m looking forward to tonight. Powerful melody and impactful words have become critical to the music I chose to listen to now and I enjoy the storytelling in Ed’s pieces. Photograph, is one of my favourite songs – it has a certain strength to it that reminds us that it’s never love that hurts us, but rather our expectations from it.”
Interestingly, the 26-year-old singer documented his journey becoming an internationally renowned name through a book that came out in 2014, Ed Sheeran: A Visual Journey, with words by him and illustrations by his childhood friend, artist Philip Butah, and photos. With much brutal honestly, this young star tells about his rocky relationship with alcohol, and how he ended the practice of drinking before shows when a fan approached him and told him how disappointing his act was. The exclusive, first-person account recounts Ed’s early musical experiences and influences, and talks about what inspires and drives him as he learned to navigate being a stratospheric success. Over the years, the young star does his bit to give back to the community and supports several organisations like East Angelica’s Children’s Hospices, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, Crisis, Youth Music Theatre UK and Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Ed released a new video for his single Perfect earlier this month, starting actress Zoey Deutch and shot in Austria. This sweet love song from the new album is sure to win hearts and send lovers swooning with the festive season just around the corner.
Tonight, the party won’t just be at the concert – a number of sundowner offers were announced this week at venues like SodaBottleOpenerWala, Le Pain Quotidian for fans with special Superstar Bands. And post the show you can fuel up with dinner at Hello Guppy, Yauatcha, Toast & Tonic, Fish N Bait, Café Sabrosa and Hemant Trident. Three places – Craftbar, and Dishkiyaoon, Burn, will be entertaining before and after the show.