Superstar Ed Sheeran’s spectacular new math tour finally took off last night as he became ‘King of Croker’.
The Shape Of You singer had been promised a production like they’d never seen before at his first big show in three years – and he didn’t disappoint.
Before the hitmaker kicked off his sizzling show which featured an arsenal of global hits and new songs, the 80,000 ecstatic fans had already been massively impressed by the other star of the night – his round stage which sat in the center of Croke Park like a gigantic spaceship.
The spectacular stage structure featured plectrum-like screens suspended from six masts and a massive circular display that brought the show up close and personal to fans all around the stadium.
A 10-minute clock on the central screen counts down his arrival on stage at 8:28 p.m. And then a man and his guitar kicked off with the opening number “Tides” as his band performed from separate platforms around the circular stage.
Sheeran, who performed warm-up gigs in the intimate settings of Dublin’s Whelan’s and Vicar Street venues this week before his world tour opened last night, admitted he was nervous.
“It’s been almost three years since I’ve done a big show. I’m super, super nervous,” Ed told Dublin radio station FM104.
It’s the first tour since the pandemic that the 31-year-old artist has had the chance to showcase songs from his latest album, Equals. It’s also the first full-capacity gig at Croker since pre-Covid.
Sheeran, whose hits include Galway Girl, is proud of his Irish roots – his grandfather was born in Belfast and his grandmother is from Wexford – and he understands why Croke Park is the jewel in the crown of sport, Irish culture and history. “It really is a special place for Ireland and I don’t take it lightly,” he said.
Billed as the Mathematics Tour, there was no doubt among the audience that the show was all upside and no downside – and it made for an unforgettable experience for Sheeran fans.
After a triumphant opener, Sheeran will return to Croker tonight to create another party mood before touring the country, playing Pairc Uí Chaoimh from Cork next Thursday and Friday; Thomond Park, Limerick (5 and 6 May) and Boucher Playing Fields in Belfast (12 and 13 May).
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