Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Best Reception Ever

The Manila leg of Ed Sheeran’s Multiply Tour not just made local Sheerios happy, but a certain British ginger as well.

Words by Klara Iskra A├▒onuevo
Photos by Kris Rocha

“Honestly, honestly, hand in heart, a hundred percent, this is the best reception I’ve ever had,” said Ed Sheeran during the Manila leg of his Multiply Tour. I believe him. Because honestly, both hands on heart, a hundred percent, that was the best concert I’ve been to, and I’ve been to A LOT.
True, I’ve said the same of shows past (including that of Fall Out Boy’s and Taylor Swift’s), but I think, unless I manage to see another Ed Sheeran show, this “best” will stick for a lifetime.

As you may have already guessed, I’m a Sheerio, or a big Ed Sheeran fan. So I took a vacation leave on March 12, just so I could get to the Mall of Asia Arena early to get first dibs on official merchandise and line up for the concert early. I was one of the firsts to enter the Arena, and my enthusiasm paid off, because as the lights went down and everyone started running towards the stage, I found myself front and center with only a person between me and the barricade. I couldn't believe my luck.

From the opening song “I’m A Mess,” it's easy to see why the Multiply Tour setup is super simple. One guitar (at a time at least), a loop pedal, and two mics are all Ed Sheeran needs to entertain a crowd. No back-up dancers nor singers, no band, no full-blown musical productions—just a young man and his songs. Yes, there were big screens behind him showing different images related to his songs, but in all honesty, they could have done away with those and there wouldn’t be much of a difference.

Just before his second song, “Lego House,” he tells the sold-out crowd, “My job for the next few hours is to entertain you and your job is to be entertained!” an Ed Sheeran concert signature. And that’s exactly what happened. He effortlessly got the audience to sing chants to “Lego House,” did a superb “Don’t” / “Nina” / “No Diggity” mash-up, and got everyone intoxicated with “Drunk.”
After doing another mash-up with “Take It Back” and “Superstition,” Ed decided to slow it down again with a very heartfelt rendition of “Photograph,” but what followed after made every Sheerio in the house kilig—he performed “All of the Stars,” a song he doesn’t usually play on the Multiply Tour, as he said so himself. Maybe it’s the Sheerio in me speaking, but it really felt like he played it especially for the Manila crowd because of all the love he had been getting.

Just before singing his chart-topper “Thinking Out Loud,” Ed sang “Tenerife Sea,” and after singing a verse of “So in love, so in love,” the British pop star sneezed, making the whole arena, including Ed himself, giggle. That was probably the most adorable moment of the night—hey, Ed’s human too!

Over an hour after he started the show, he was down to his last song, and he ended it with two tried and tested crowd pleasers: “You Need Me,” and “Sing.” The former saw Ed super energized, almost bouncing across the stage as he hyped the crowd up, encouraging them to sing along—and sing along we did! In the middle of the song, he also took a photo of the crowd, a picture that would later make it to his Instagram, another Ed Sheeran concert signature. (If you’d let me, I can actually point out my face in that photo. Haha.) As a Sheerio, “Sing” was bittersweet for me, because, while that song is so fun to dance and sing along to, it meant that my Multiply Tour experience was about to end.

The concert was truly special, and while Sheerios were left with either a Multiply Tour hangover or Post-Concert Depression, even Ed’s camp found it hard to get over the Manila show. Ed’s manager Stuart Camp and some members of the crew took to Twitter and Instagram to express how blown away with the Manila leg they were. Two days later, Ed himself would tell members of the Singaporean press that Manila is his most memorable show so far. As for me? Well this Sheerio is just proud to have been part of that show.

ED SHEERAN Multiply Tour Live in Manila is presented by MMI Live!

More photos below:

 ***Photos in this page may not be used and/or reproduced commercially, altered or transformed in any way without the site and the author's permission.

Klara Iskra A├▒onuevo is the Associate Editor of Travel Now Magazine. She loves music, and apart from being a Sheerio, she is also a big fan of Taylor Swift, Fall Out Boy, Maroon 5, and the last two artists left on her concert bucket list, Eminem and Robbie Williams. Follow her on Instagram @thebestthingsinlifearebrie.

Kris Rocha is a freelance concert, events and portrait photographer.  If she's not in a gig or concert, you will usually find her at home or at Top Hat Studio busy with things she's very passionate about: listening to music, taking pictures and cooking eating her favorite food.  Follow her on Instagram @krisrochaphotography.

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