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Ed Sheeran stuns at Cape Town Stadium

Cape Town is the final stop for Ed Sheeran on his South African Divide Tour. If you were one of those die-hard fans who waited for hours in the Checkers queue or prayed they'd add another date for the Mother City, then you've probably been glued to social media this past weekend.
Ed Sheeran stuns at Cape Town Stadium
© Big Concerts

By now, everyone knows what to expect – Shekhinah and Passenger are the opening acts and Sheeran changes into South African colours at some point during the show. Don’t think for one moment this spoils the fun. There are certain things you simply must experience for yourself – this concert is one of them. By the end of the evening, it didn’t matter how old you were or which seats you had, every concert-goer was on their feet, singing severely off-key and clapping in time with the beat.

Ed Sheeran stuns at Cape Town Stadium
© Big Concerts

We’ve seen him look oh-so-casual in his yellow and green at the cricket, having a meal at the local vegan joint and even reading a book on Table Mountain. Between shows, he took some time out to relax and we saw him at his best last night.


Opening acts


Both opening acts, though lesser known, did a good job warming the audience’s vocal cords for the main event. Some ticket-holders might not have known Shekhinah by name, but they’d heard her hits on the radio and were able to sing along. Dressed in what looked like tin foil, her vocals were much better than her choice of attire. We only had her for 15 minutes before Passenger aka Michael David Rosenberg stepped on stage.

Ed Sheeran stuns at Cape Town Stadium
© Big Concerts

For 45 minutes, Passenger delighted the crowd with soulful folk-rock. Best known for his smash “Let Her Go”, he spoke openly about how most people only knew that song. He made many one-hit wonder jokes, but beneath his self-deprecating manner was a humble, passionate artist who worked the guitar just as well as Sheeran – perhaps even better. “I’m not a band, just a man and his guitar,” Passenger told us.

Dressed in dark jeans and a denim shirt, his haunting voice left many who hadn’t heard him before mesmerised. He thanked us sincerely after each song, genuinely grateful for the applause. He also cussed frequently and made us laugh in between sips of whisky on stage. Most of us could only sing along to one track, but he was unphased and used his hour slot to teach us some songs right there. At the end of his performance, he announced a solo tour to SA at the end of 2019. This news was met with hearty applause.

Ed Sheeran stuns at Cape Town Stadium
© Big Concerts

The main event


The crowd erupted when we finally heard those famous opening chords to “Castle on the Hill”. If you don’t understand the fuss about Sheeran, just google his performances. He makes his music right in front of the audience, using a loop machine to create the backing track. He starts off with a simple piano or a few chords, layering the sounds until he’s ready to start singing. This can make it tricky to figure out which song he’s going to play next, but it’s also part of the thrill: “Is this “Shape of You”? No, it must be “Dive”! Wait, no, it’s-” we argued all night with complete strangers, bursting out laughing once we learnt we were all wrong. His skill on the loop and his raw vocals are a killer combination. Add in a few moving backdrops and some wonderful call-and-response songs, and you have a night you’ll remember long after the Divide logo has faded from your t-shirt.

Ed Sheeran stuns at Cape Town Stadium
© Big Concerts

We had him for two hours, but time flew with Sheeran on stage. Pretty soon we had to clear out and brave the traffic from the stadium. A day of endless queues followed by four straight hours of stomping and clapping and swaying left a delicious ache in our calves and feet. We’d definitely be feeling this tomorrow, but we’d also have memories that would last at least until the next concert.

Everything was perfect and ran smoothly from start to finish. He was effortlessly charming, as always, but there is perhaps just one criticism: the man really can’t dance. He’s a master on the guitar and a world-class lyricist, but when he dances it looks like he’s trying – and failing – to swat a pesky mosquito.

Ed Sheeran stuns at Cape Town Stadium
© Big Concerts

Don’t believe it? Go see for yourself. There are still front zone standing, premium seating and general standing tickets available for Thursday night via Computicket.

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About Ayesha Abrahams

Ayesha is a self-confessed bibliophile. When she's not reading stories, she's writing them. This former teacher and editor is a diehard Potterhead. Currently she's completing her MA in Creative Writing. Ayesha will almost always choose tea over coffee, and writes articles when she's supposed to be working on her thesis.

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