UOB Live kicks off with 'An Evening with Ed Sheeran'

UOB Live kicks off with 'An Evening with Ed Sheeran'

6,000 Sheerios were in for an intimate gig on Sunday

UOB Live kicks off with 'An Evening with Ed Sheeran'

On Sunday, 6,000 Sheerios rode escalators to the sixth floor of Emsphere to attend 'An Evening With Ed Sheeran' held at UOB Live, Bangkok's brand-new entertainment/event venue.

(Concert photos courtesy of Mark Surridge, venue photos courtesy of UOB Live)

Being centrally located on Sukhumvit Road, concert-goers can get off at BTS Phrom Phrong and walk for a few minutes to get to UOB Live on the sixth floor of Emsphere.  

Besides the main floor of UOB Live, there's also a mezzanine level reserved for VIP attendees who had to take a separate elevator up to the secret 6M floor to reach their lounges. They got to enjoy canapes and beverages and access to exclusive restrooms.  '

Sheerios were in for a very intimate/stripped-down setup, sans fireworks and flame jet. Not even video screens to capture what was going on on the stage (not sure how attendees without 20/20 visions would feel). A 180 of the spectacular stadium show at Rajamangala on Saturday. 

At 7.30pm, British singer-songwriter Calum Scott started an impressive warmup set, which lasted for 30 minutes. He pretty much followed the same setlist he did when he opened on Sheeran on Saturday except for when he did a mashup between his cover of Robyn's Dancing On My Own and Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody at the end.     

There was no fanfare preceding the arrival of Ed Sheeran as he simply walked onto the stage at 8.30 pm with a guitar and started playing folk-pop Boat for a heartfelt and soothing start. Sheeran then broke down the entire show to the crowd, saying that the first part would be songs from his Subtract album (which he admitted to not be stadium-friendly), and the latter half would be a "happy hour" when he played his well-known hits. Therefore, Sunday night was a rare opportunity for him to perform these songs live as a parallel to the stadium show.

The show could have been called "The Subtract Tour", since he followed Boat by performing, alongside a full band, eight more songs from Subtract namely Salt Water, Eyes Closed, Life Goes On, End Of You, Curtains, Sycamore, No Strings and The Hills Of Aberfeldy.

Die-hard Sheerios may have noticed by now that he performed them in the same order they appear on the album except that he skipped a few songs from the album. Before performing, he briefly talked about how the songs came to be, giving the audience behind-the-scene trivia as well as personal stories from the horse's mouth. At one point, he gave a shoutout to Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice who inspired him to start his journey to become the musician that he is today.  

The next section is dedicated to his latest and seventh studio album Autumn Variations, which he released last year through his record label. Magical, Punchline and Head > Heels were picked to be performed for the night. 

Sheeran kicked off the happy hour with I See Fire which he wrote for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug before he treated day-one fans with The A Team, the song that started it all for him. He then delivered crowd-pleasers Shivers, Thinking Out Loud, Perfect, Bloodstream, Shape Of You, Bad Habits and Castle On The Hill, taking fans across his mathematic series. 

He expressed his gratitude to fans once more before going into the last part of the show by earnestly performing The Parting Glass, a nod to his Irish upbringing, acapella and without a microphone. The real goodbye came when he acoustically performed, still without a microphone, Afterglow, harkening back to his humble beginning of busking and pub gigs. The entire hall fell into complete silence as the crowd listened to the last two songs. Sheeran asked them to sing along to the last bit of Afterglow before being showered with cheers and applause as the 23-song setlist came to a memorable end.  

What made 'An Evening With Ed Sheeran' so special was that it was a mix of Sheeran's earnest and energetic performances, raw musical genius, personal stories behind the songs and sense of humour. It showed another side of this global star in an atmosphere that you won't easily be able to experience. A rare treat.

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