Arguably the world's most popular ginger folk singer, Ed Sheeran has the world at his fingertips. Screaming teenage girls, guys on bro-dates and families gathered outside Adelaide Entertainment Centre on February 26 to witness the re-emergence of folk pop music.
The sell out crowd were treated to a smorgasbord of folk music as British 20 year-old Gabrielle Aplin warmed up the crowd. The entree was as good as the main course as this shy, innocent girl slowly won the crowd over with her incredible vocal range and humble stage presence. She engaged the crowd with a sincerity often lost in today's music scene. Apologising to the crowd for having to tune her guitar and seeming genuinely surprised when the crowd recognised her songs. By the end of her set you realised you have just witnessed the birth of a star, a likeable, quirky character with talent to burn.
The next appetiser was Passenger, a one man show by Mike Rosenberg. He is the modern day equivalent of Bob Dylan as his spine-chilling vocals and story telling transports you to another world. I saw him at Fowlers when he was in Adelaide last August and this time he added more converts to his growing fan base. His break-up song anthem "Let Her Go" was a highlight of the night, only to be topped by the Simon and Garfunkle cover, 'The Sound of Silence,' which literally hypnotised the crowd into complete silence. Explaining the meaning behind each of his songs, Passenger takes you on his journey of love, loss and regret. One gathered by the reaction of screaming girls, Passenger is a performer more people will have on their radar in the future.
When an unassuming redhead by the name Ed Sheeran walked onto the stage, it was clear the main course had arrived. It was madness with teenage girls squealing at the top of their lungs. There were no gimmicks, no laser light shows, just a humble man with an acoustic guitar and a loop pedal. He started the show with an extended version of "Give Me Love," labelling the crowd the 'Gospel Choir of Adelaide.'
The pace in which the 22-year-old delivered the hit song 'You Need Me, I Don't Need You," was something I had never experienced before as he bounced around stage with such unexpected energy. He even inserted the chorus of Macklemore's hit single 'Thrift shop,' much to the delight of the crowd. I usually associated the global star with soft, slow ballads and it was a refreshing change to see Sheeran provide the crowd with such energy.
The star power of Ed Sheeran is truly remarkable, but I think it's his laidback, humble nature which makes him a true star. Girls worship him, his presence sparks marriage proposals, yet he just goes about his business as a quiet achiever.
Sheeran ended the show with his multi-platform selling single 'The A Team,' inviting support acts Passenger and Gabrielle Aplin back on stage as mobile phones were held up to create a sea of lights, the perfect end to an evening of acoustic wonderment.
Passenger is the only one to return to Adelaide this year to play again on March 27. The show is at the Dunstan Playhouse and is already sold out. Adelaideans are in for a mouth-watering dessert. To follow Mike Rosenberg's tour dates check out Passenger Music.
Challenge Stadium, Perth - Feb 23, 2013 Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide - Feb 26, 2013
WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong - Feb 28, 2013
Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney - Mar 1, 2013
Riverstage - Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Brisbane - Mar 2, 2013
Festival Hall, Melbourne - Mar 4, 2013
Festival Hall, Melbourne - Mar 5, 2013