Last updated on August 25th, 2023 at 06:52 am
After selling out the State Theater for an intimate show, and surprising fans at the Mall of America, renowned singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran closed out his weekend in the Twin Cities by setting an all-time attendance record at US Bank Stadium.
For over a decade, Sheeran has risen to prominence as one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. Reflecting on his history of Twin Cities shows, you might even say he came from humble beginnings as he went from performing at the Varsity Theater, opening for Taylor Swift in 2013, and headlining both the Xcel Energy Center and Target Center before eventually hitting US Bank Stadium in 2018.
Attending his second outing to Minnesota’s largest stage, I entered the show with some skepticism. I am a huge fan of Sheeran and have seen him live twice before this. But I wondered how one man with a guitar and loop pedal could transfer his live show to a stadium setting. Luckily, he absolutely blew me away.
The production of this tour was awe-inspiring. The “in-the-round” stage helped make this stadium experience feel intimate. Additionally, the video screens, excellent lighting, and occasional pyro helped to create a spectacle.
Sheeran performed with his trademark approachable charm, which makes him feel like he’s just a regular guy. Setting up songs with his live loop pedal never ceases to amaze me. As he took the audience on a journey of 25 songs, every track felt like a well-loved hit. And let’s face it, nearly every song of his is a hit.
Highlights of the night included a triple hitter of “A-Team,” “Castle on the Hill,” and “Don’t.” And romance was in the air as he performed “Perfect,” one of the most-played wedding songs of all time. Fans were also treated to Khalid joining Sheeran on stage for the track “Beautiful People.”
Khalid has a very strong local fanbase, which was evident the moment he took the stage earlier in the night as a supporting act. His last Minnesota appearance before this was a free concert outside of the stadium last summer. For him, this must’ve felt like a full-circle moment.
Smiling throughout his set, Khalid was an incredibly confident and likable act. With a handful of hits already to his name, we’ll no doubt be seeing him headline some more rooms in the Twin Cities soon.
Also along for the ride was British singer-songwriter Cat Burns. As a young star on the rise, she has been making a name for herself with her single “Go” and a recent collaboration with Sam Smith.
Her performance was a great way to start the night. With an excellent tone, her voice was easy to vibe to.
With six studio albums since 2011, Sheeran has built himself up as one of the most iconic voices in modern pop music. Touted by local radio station Cities 97.1 as a “Cities Original,” it’s clear that fans in our area have a lot of love for this Grammy winner. For longtime fans like me, this show felt like a victory lap and a celebration of his amazing career. Watching him grow to this point has been extremely validating.
Sheeran’s record-setting performance followed Pink shattering attendance records at Target Field a few days before. This summer, the Twin Cities has played host to countless huge shows. To hear that fans are showing up strong just gives our state more things to be proud of.