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Ed Sheeran & Khalid – Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia (A Concert Review)

Ed Sheeran, Khalid & Dylan – Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, PA – June 3, 2023

The Ed Sheeran World Tour is called + – = ÷ x (Mathematics, if you prefer words to symbols) and it added its fifth tour stop the other night in Philadelphia. Sheeran hadn’t played at The Linc in four years, so fans (myself, included) were ecstatic to see the singer/songwriter perform in the stadium. As Sheeran took a short break from music and touring to start his growing family, this was his first worldwide stadium tour since the ÷ album. Accompanying him on this stop of the tour were none other than the incredibly talented performers Dylan and Khalid.

Dylan kicked off the perfect summer night with an electric set. The 23-year-old English singer/songwriter began her set with “Lovestruck” from her 2022 album The Greatest Thing I’ll Never Learn. Up next, she performed several other hits including “You’re Not Harry Styles,” a cover of Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City,” and “Nothing Lasts Forever.” Dylan’s positive energy was contagious and the ultimate way to commence the evening.

The next performer to take the stage was Khalid. I’ve had the incredible honor of seeing Khalid live several times and can confirm that each show is better than the last. He performed many of his biggest hits throughout the years including “Young Dumb & Broke,” “Love Lies,” “Location,” and more!

What I loved most about Khalid’s performance was not only his catchy tunes but also his remarkable stage presence. It felt as if he was singing to each and every person in the stadium, the way he captivated his audience. Little did we know that we would be seeing Khalid again a bit later in the night. This was the perfect way to get warmed up to see the main act, himself.

A countdown clock appeared on the screens wrapped around the stage and excitement buzzed around the venue. Before I knew it, it was time for Sheeran to take the stage. The lights went down as the first notes to “Tides” began blasting over the speakers. Sheeran jumped up on stage and everyone nearly lost their minds. As the track ended, the audience barely had time to catch their breath before Sheeran played “BLOW,” another high-energy song. Towards the end of the song, an incredible pyrotechnic fire display erupted from the stage. Fans cheered as they knew they were in for the night of their lives.

The band then left their spots on the stage, leaving just Sheeran, his guitar, and his loop pedal station. One aspect of his shows that make them a once-in-a-lifetime experience is that for many songs, Sheeran will create beats by himself with his loop pedal, adding melodies, harmonies, and even tracks of his own voice, producing the song live in front of the audience.

“I’m A Mess” was the first song that Sheeran featured this breathtaking talent of his. The next songs in the solo loop pedal section included “Shivers,” fan favorite “The A Team,” “Castle on The Hill,” “Don’t,” and more. One of the final songs of this section was “Give Me Live” from Sheeran’s debut album +. This was one of the most memorable songs of the night because Sheeran made it interactive. While using his loop pedal, he invited one half of the stadium to sing the harmony of the chorus, while the other half sang the melody. He then played his own vocals and handmade beat over the audience’s chorus, while he harmonized with us. This was a magical experience, to say the least.

The band joined Sheeran on stage again to play a medley of “Own It,” “PERU,” “South of the Border,” and “I Don’t Care.” These were all collaborations that Sheeran was a part of. One of his biggest collaboration tracks is the hit “Beautiful People” featuring Khalid, so of course he joined Sheeran on stage. When I tell you that not a single person in the audience was sitting, I’m not lying. We were all on our feet, dancing with one another, even with people we didn’t attend the show with!

After a few other spectacular performances of songs in his discography, Sheeran then played “Galway Girl,” bringing out a fiddler to play live with him. We all clapped along to one of his most beloved songs. Up next, he did a cover of “Love Yourself,” performed by Justin Bieber but written by him. When speaking about the song and what he responds when people ask why he gave the song away, Sheeran shared the famous Stevie Wonder quote, “When someone asks me, what is my favorite composition, I quote my idol, Duke Ellington who said, ‘I haven’t written it yet.’”

Up next were the biggest sing-a-longs of the night inducing “Sing,” “Photograph,” and “Perfect.” Everyone sang along to some of Sheeran’s biggest hits ever. It was surreal to witness these songs performed live, as they have been on my playlists for years. After a few other phenomenal renditions of songs, Sheeran then came out for the encore wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jersey. (Go Birds!) The encore was comprised of “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” “Shape of You,” and finally “Bad Habits.”

This was easily one of the best concerts I have ever attended. If I had to rate the show on a 5-star scale, I would give it 6 stars. Between the indescribably positive atmosphere and phenomenal performances by Dylan, Khalid, and Ed Sheeran, the + – = ÷ x (Mathematics) Tour is a must-see.

Kayla Marra

Copyright ©2023 All rights reserved. Posted: June 5, 2023.

Photos by Kayla Marra © 2023. All rights reserved.

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