Less than a year after Ed Sheeran was in the country wowing fans with a sold out performance at Vector Arena, the British songwriter was back in New Zealand for a repeat performance. This time, upsizing to Mt Smart Stadium, where close to 50,000 fans packed the venue last night.
The show marked the final date of his first stadium tour, ending on a high note. Following opening acts Foy Vance, Passenger and Rudimental (who were forced off-stage mid-song when they blew the sound system before making a quick comeback), Sheeran's show felt more like a festival line-up than a concert.
The 24-year-old singer kicked off his two-hour set with I'm A Mess, taking to the stage wearing Jonah Lomu's number 11 All Blacks jersey. The singer may have upsized venues but not his performance, which remained just Sheeran, his guitar and a loop pedal. His layered musical style was captivating and easily filled the stadium.
Sheeran's fans cheered for his endless stream of hits from the romantic Thinking Out Loud and Photograph, to Lego House and Drunk from his first album +. The audience boomed out the words to Hobbit anthem I See Fire, which he mixed with Feeling Good and got pumped on Don't and an acoustic version of his Rudimental collaboration, Bloodstream. He also deviated from his setlist to play Small Bump.
The stage was a silver platform that reflected bouncing coloured lights, with a spotlight always on the star of the show. Behind him were five giant screens that were bursting with colour over video of the ginger star. However, some of the videos were quite similar to the ones shown at his Vector show earlier in the year, as was his song set.
Fans who were able to attend last night's show can count themselves lucky as it was the last concert Sheeran will perform before undergoing ear surgery for his burst eardrum, which left him grounded in England.
Sheeran made sure his final performance was a good one, full of energy, banter and the music that has made him so popular.
Who: Ed Sheeran
When: Saturday, December 12
Where: Mt Smart Stadium