Ed Sheeran lights up KLCC in his first-ever Malaysian concert
Flame-haired Ed Sheeran set hearts ablaze during his maiden concert in Malaysia with a high energy, nearly non-stop performance at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on 19 March.
Fans were delighted when PR Worldwide announced that they were bringing him down as the English redhead has a large following in the country, his singles all enjoying major playtime on the local airwaves of late. Tickets to his concert sold out well before the date of his performance, and even the line for entry into the free standing concert venue snaked well around the convention centre a whopping two hours before the show even began.
Malaysian pop-rock singer Faizal Tahir of One in a Million fame opened the set for Sheeran with an enthusiastic rendition of ‘Assalamualaikum’, his current hit single, before turning it nostalgic with The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’.
After his exit from the stage, the hall began to resonate with intermittent chants of ‘We want Ed! We want Ed!’ as the excited crowd grew restless. All manner of people were there to see the 24-year-old singer-songwriter in action, ranging from hyperactive preteens to senior citizens of all races and nationalities, a testament to Sheeran’s widespread appeal.
Hundreds of ‘Sheerios’ waiting for their idol to appear
Thankfully, the horde of Sheerios did not have long to wait. As the lights dimmed, the audience burst into a frenzy of near-hysterical screams and sure enough – the man himself burst onto stage with his trusty acoustic guitar, launching straight into the energetic ‘I’m A Mess’.
“We’re going to sing till we lose our voices, you and I both,” he promised the crowd, and was rewarded with a roar of delighted cheers.
Eschewing ostentatious outfits and complex choreography for a simple t-shirt with jeans outfit and serious guitar playing skills, Sheeran kept the audience enthralled with a seemingly never-ending stream of tracks from both his + and x albums, leaping onto the speakers at intervals and encouraging everyone to sing along.
Sheeran getting lost in the moment
“I don’t want you to sing it, I want you to scream it as loud as you can!” he exclaimed, and the walls of the venue shook as participant and performer sang the lyrics of ‘Drunk’ at the tops of their voices.
As expected, the most popular songs of the night were his international radio hits, with songs such as ‘Lego House’, ‘A Team’, ‘I See Fire’, ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and ‘Bloodstream’ receiving the most excited shrieks of approval all night.
Evidently delighted with the crowd’s familiarity with his lyrics, Sheeran began with, “This is great, I was very unaware if people here would know my songs at all…” before promptly being drowned out in a wave of noise from the audience, producing a smile from the 24-year-old.
The six giant television screens behind him snapped back and forth between close ups of the singer, clips of his music videos and artistic impressions of his songs, complemented by dazzling spotlights that ramped up the energy with quickening flashes on fast songs and calmed the mood with tranquil beams on slower numbers.
Cool blue lighting filling the hall for the slow ‘Tenerife Sea’
Though Sheeran made his name with his acoustic numbers, he demonstrated that he was more than just a one-trick pony by remixing other popular songs such as Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstitious’, Iggy Azalea’s ‘Fancy’ and 50 Cent’s ‘In Da Club’ with his own tunes, switching out his x-marked acoustic instrument for a Hulk-green electric guitar and even segueing into a rap session with the defiant ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’.
“At the end of the day, it’s still an acoustic show, just me and my guitar,” he told everyone, “but we’re going to be making a lot of noise!”
And make a lot of noise they did as Sheeran got the crowd singing back to him on various numbers over his 90-minute set, even dividing the crowd into two on his final song – the upbeat ‘Sing’ – and harmonising the two segments before all went dark – and he was gone.
“And I hope that you’ll remember me.” – Ed Sheeran, 'I See Fire'
Judging from the reception towards his first-ever Kuala Lumpur performance, it’s unlikely that Malaysians will be forgetting this British singing sensation any time soon.