Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.
By Nick Krewen
If British troubadour Ed Sheeran felt intimidated performing in front of a crowd of 45,000 as the opening act for headliner Taylor Swift at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on June 14, he certainly didn’t show it.
The amiable redheaded singer/songwriter (keeping in theme with Swift's current Red Tour), fortified only by his guitar and a magical Boss RC-30 Loop Station pedal that enables him to loop his sound live, delivered a short, sweet and sonically energetic set that filled the cavernous venue and brought enthusiastic cheers from the crowd.
Pulling from his 2011 studio debut + for his repertoire, Sheeran — sporting shorts and The Goonies on his T-shirt — extolled the crowd to "sing along if you know the words or just make them up, it's more fun that way" as he launched into "Give Me Love," one of his many melodically strong, lyrically smart tunes that position him for a megabreakthrough in the near future.
After setting up a loop that involved slapping rhythms, harmonizing vocals and a strumming guitar, Sheeran left his instrument behind, split the Rogers Centre in two factions and had the gigantic audience serve as his choir, singing loudly in a call-and-response fashion.
But the most infectious part of his fervent presence was his rapping ability, ripping through multisyllabic, break-speed passages of "You Need Me, I Don't Need You" that were sometimes lost in the huge dome of the Rogers Centre, which is also the home to the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team, but drew a spirited response from the mass audience nonetheless.
And by the time he concluded with his signature GRAMMY-nominated hit "The A Team," the predominantly female crowd serenading his every word, they were putty in his hands.
Sheeran was welcomed back to stage later during Swift's set for a performance of "Everything Has Changed," a song they co-wrote.
"Give Me Love"
"You Need Me, I Don’t Need You"
"The A Team"
"Everything Has Changed" (with Taylor Swift during her headlining set)
To catch Ed Sheeran on tour with Taylor Swift in a city near you, click here for tour dates.
(Nick Krewen is a Toronto-based journalist and co-author of Music From Far And Wide: Celebrating 40 Years Of The Juno Awards, as well as a contributor to The Routledge Film Music Sourcebook. He has written for The Toronto Star, TV Guide, Billboard, Country Music and was a consultant for the National Film Board's music industry documentary Dream Machine.)