Ed Sheeran and his 3 mega shows at the Olympiastadion Munich in Germany was a great challenge for our CREW. More than 100 STAGEHANDS, FORKLIFT DRIVERS, STEELHANDS, buses from Prague to Munich to support the concert. Huge 360 stage, towers, lights, fireworks, 80.000 people, full stadium, Ed Sheeran and a great show. It took more than 3 days to set up the stage and 1 day to take it all down. We are ready for another concert, the season 2022 is still on…
This is good rain, says Ed Sheeran on Saturday evening in the sold-out Olympic Stadium. It is his first of three stadium concerts that the British superstar is now playing in the Bavarian capital one week after his shows in Vienna’s Ernst Happel Stadium. Sheeran reached more than 200,000 spectators in Munich alone, before attracting the crowds again in Frankfurt. Sheeran has been filling stadiums across Europe for six months with his “+-=÷x” tour, which he had previously tested at a number of indoor concerts in Great Britain in March and April.
Now, many years earlier, Sheeran had repeatedly proven that as a singer he knew how to run a stadium all by himself. With his loop machine, he records smaller guitar figures, percussive insertions and keyboard sequences on stage, in order to then let them sound layered on top of each other exactly to the beat. That alone requires a good sense of rhythm and merciless precision. Nonetheless, in Sheeran’s concerts, it’s as if he were only casually tapping one or the other pedal with his prancing foot during his performances. Sheeran’s attention seems to be focused solely on his singing-along audience, which he is transforming into a 75,000-strong choir again this year in Munich’s Olympic Stadium. That alone is as poignant as it has been at Sheeran’s concerts for years.
This time, however, Sheeran has a band accompany him on a few songs; with the appropriate pressure forward through the drums, the bass and the cheering e-guitar sounds, or with the atmospheric deepening of the music through the additional key play of a keyboard player. Whereby the additional musicians are not on stage with Sheeran. Spread around the stage, they play on four smaller platforms. Only one violinist dances for a song on Sheeran’s circular stage, the latter is incidentally the real sensation of this year’s European tour. Because this round and rotating stage stands like a landed UFO in the middle of the stadium. The distance to the seats in the stadium furthest away from the edge of the stage is now correspondingly shorter, which enables every spectator in the concert to follow what is happening on stage not only via the many LED walls, some of which are shaped like huge guitar picks.
Although everyone could now see the singer without such stadium concert-proven visuals, the light art alone surpasses much of what experienced concert-goers have already been able to experience. The singer’s projections, which sometimes appear to be floating around and above the stage, sometimes mix with the sparkling sea of lights from the flashlights or mobile phones waved by the fans to create a breathtakingly beautiful starry sky in the middle of the stadium. That’s why the actual full moon on the other side of the stadium looks curiously at the magical ambience.
Neither the fans nor Ed Sheeran let the sudden onset of rain destroy the mood in such an ambience. In spring in Belfast it would have rained during his concert, says Sheeran on Saturday evening. At that time it would have been windy and cold. In Munich, on the other hand, it is just good rain. Because the rain floods Sheeran’s open stage, the singer, who is also standing in the rain, asks: “If I slip here, please be merciful with me on social media.”
But the audience does not only remain well-disposed towards his star on social media. When Sheeran’s show, which was just as carefully as impressively amplified with pyrotechnics, is interrupted in the grand finale of the very last song due to a loss of sound, the audience applauds enthusiastically. After all, Sheeran had entertained her for over two hours. You would have forgiven him if the concert had ended with a loss of sound. But Sheeran waits patiently on stage for the bug to be fixed. Then he starts the song over again: “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You”. Everyone present has known for a long time: In truth, we all need each other.
Here is a little review from the concert:
At the first of three concerts in Munich’s Olympic Stadium, the rain only slows down the party of 72,000 a little – but a different Ed Sheeran shows up.
One dilution was to be feared. When Ed Sheeran appears on the central round stage for the first of his three concerts in Munich’s Olympic Stadium on Saturday evening, there is initially a picturesque one full moon in the firmament to the British superstar and his 72,000 fans in the sold-out giant oval – more than 200,000 tickets have been sold in total, with prices for Mr. Gabalier, Mr. Williams and Ms. Fischer, all of which are less than 100 euros.
But after about an hour and a half, heavy rain sets in. It hardly drives anyone to flee, because the fear was there beforehand, and so everyone is basically armed with colorful rain ponchos and at this point is already sucked into the show, which of course Ed himself doesn’t break off, but rather says : Everyone here would have no choice but to have a good time even in the rain.
Ed Sheeran with a power outage and a song for the deceased Queen in Munich
But when, after a good two and a quarter hours, he starts for the very last finale, the soaked stage equipment still stops. And the perfectionist in the center finally has to do some laps around the continuously rotating ring of the stage, with the help of which he was previously able to automatically spread his performance in all directions, on which he strides manically during his speeches to the audience but also a bit like the show mouse in the wheel. But then the juice comes back, and the 31-year-old can celebrate the last minutes of “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” again with full force until the final fireworks. So everything good?
Most of the spectators will surely have gone home happy, as they did on the last tour when Ed Sheeran was here in Munich also played at the stadium three times, as part of a two-year concert tour that is considered the most successful of all time, with almost 7.5 million visitors worldwide. And yet a lot has changed since then. In the life of the star, of course, who, not without reason, appears on stage with the song “Tides” from the current album and probably the finale of the “Mathematics” series – in which, in contrast to previous life doubts, the man who has since married his childhood friend Cherry sings about it the happiness of fatherhood. And of course also up-to-date, in the world out there: He plays “Perfect” in memory of the recently deceased Queen – because he played this song at the invitation of her last jubilee after, as he says, the concert for Elizabeth’s day of honor His desire to become a musician was sparked at the age of 20 when he saw Eric Clapton play his “Layla” on television…
Ed Sheeran with a band for the first time and very experienced at the concert in Munich
But the change is also one of the musician Ed Sheeran himself, which becomes visible on this evening. And you can also call this a dilution. He started 16 years ago, he also tells us about that this evening, to record his music solo directly with a loop machine – track by track, from the bass beats on the guitar to melodies played on the sides to all vocal layers feed the device live and have everything available via pedal commands and use it to build up his songs. He also explains this to the audience very briefly this evening, including a reference to the five pedal stations distributed across the stage, because this is actually still the core of his performance. But in the essence of this astonishing performance, in which an individual on a rudimentary stage in such a giant arena, it immediately takes care of everything and thus works in full immediacy, which will now, in 2022, be washed out by significantly more additional spectacle.
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It starts with the fact that the stage itself is now a spectacle: six giant drills, which seem to have been sunk in with the tip, rise slightly at an angle into the arena, small light effect surfaces and a larger screen in the form of a guitar plate attached to the side, which almost always shows Ed in a close-up demonstrate; and in the center then the revolving stage with podiums that can also be pulled out of the ground and a round body above it that can be raised and lowered to represent the big screen – a streamlined version of what is perhaps the greatest stage that has ever been set up here, by U2 in the past. With repeated fireworks, this is more bombast than ever with Ed Sheeran.