Show Review: Bruno Mars

Published on theMusic.com.au, Mar 2018

Pic: Supplied

Bruno Mars, Dua Lipa

Perth Arena

Mar 28

UK singer Dua Lipa may have had to cancel numerous appearances on her Australian tour due to emergency dental surgery, but she was in fine form as the final leg of the 24K Magic world tour kicked off, stomping around the stage in time to show opener Hotter Than Hell.

The drums overpowered her vocals somewhat in Dreams, but Lipa’s commanding stage presence keep the slowly filling arena at full attention.

I wanna stay right here all night,” echoed the smooth, deep chorus melodies of Lost In Your Light – it was a sentiment echoed by all those hugging the barrier in GA.

Upbeat pop numbers driven by heavy sampling and booming, simple drum beats – like Blow Your Mind – made up the majority of the set, but it was when Lipa took a slight sidestep into piano-driven single Garden that the set truly hit its stride, with her full vocal range on show.

Crowd favourite IDGAF and set closer New Rules had punters Begging for more.

You can gauge the general demographic of a show by the amount of phone reception available, of which there was none by the time the lights dimmed for the headliner’s grand entrance.

A sensory overload commenced proceedings, with a flurry lights consuming the stage – most of which was covered in massive lighting panels – while thick, funky bass and ‘80s drum sounds welcomed Finesse.

Bruno Mars and his band shuffled side by side to the front of the stage through a thick fog and everyone in attendance knew they were in for one hell of a party.

A flurry of fireworks kicked things up a notch throughout 24K Magic; another whirlwind hit that had the audience struggling to keep up with its unexpected live turns.

The room was heating up, but Mars wasn’t going to let the final shows of his epic world tour unfold while half the venue was seated, demanding everyone was on their feet and dancing for Treasure.

Hip hop took focus during Perm and highlighted just how much of a group effort the production is, with Mars’ horn section, bassist and guitarist front and centre, delivering just as much energy as the “the original hooligan himself”.

As if his soaring vocals, charming swagger and killer style weren’t enough, Mars grabbed a guitar and began shredding in the bridge of Calling All My Lovelies, turning the romantic soul number into a screeching rock hit.

Mars didn’t need all the bells and whistles to impress, though, as evident during That’s What I Like and Marry You – both singles that lent mostly on their hooks and had the entire room bouncing around, fists in the air, screaming the lyrics.

The ’80s vibes were too real when ballad Versace On The Floor rolled around, complete with gut-wrenching sax solo and nostalgic key tones. It was one of few times, along with 2013 hit When I Was Your Man, Mars’ voice was given the sonic space it deserved.

“If you’re going to be quiet, we’re going to be quiet too,” he teased, bringing the music down to an almost inaudible level in Runaway Baby and dancing around in darkness.

His infectious energy remedied any weary souls quickly and by the time Locked Out Of Heaven and Just The Way You Arerolled around, Mars and co had already covered pop, rock, blues, soul, funk and more, delivering an insanely hectic two-hour performance that closed in style with Uptown Funk.

http://themusic.com.au/music/livereviews/2018/03/29/bruno-mars-perth-arena-daniel-cribb/

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theMusic.com.au: We Chat With The New Team Composing Music For ‘The Simpsons’

Published on theMusic.com.au, Mar 2018

Geoff Foster (engineer) and Russell Emanuel (Chief Creative Officer of Bleeding Fingers Music). Pic by Jack Lewis

“We’ve got no power in our studio, so I’m calling from home,” begins an affable Russell Emanuel down the line from California. As the co-founder and chief creative of acclaimed composer collective Bleeding Fingers Music, he’s remarkably calm after a day of “freaking out”.

Perhaps it’s the company’s unique collaborative approach that helps ease the stress; a technique that has seen them take the industry by storm since it was founded in 2013.

Last year, they took over from long-time composer Alf Clausen on The Simpsons and have recently been scoring a wealth of praise and awards for their work on BBC’s Blue Planet II. “It’s doing okay,” he jokes. “I’d like to take all the glory for it, but I think there might be a few other people involved.”

Bleeding Fingers now has 12 in-house composers, each “surgically picked” because they bring something different to the table, and they work alongside a team of seasoned producers, which brings a second layer of musical aesthetic to the game. It’s a structure you don’t see too often in composing houses.

Emanuel’s journey to “reinvent” the licenced music industry began 20 years ago when he co-founded a company called Extreme Music, which was effectively the musical equivalent of a stock image library for film and TV.

“It was an industry that was very complacent and poorly served,” he recalls. “We were radically looking to change that business.

“I think it would be arrogant to say we were going to do that to the custom composer business. I don’t think there’s the same kind of opportunity, but certainly coming at it with this kind of team approach is definitely new.”

It’s an approach the industry is welcoming with open arms, as evident with the projects they’ve scored since forming only five years ago. It’s a point in his career he never imagined during his punk rock days in London, playing bass in various bands and working and touring with the likes of Stiff Little Fingers and The Jam. Emanuel actually co-founded Extreme Music with former Stiff Little Fingers drummer Dolphin Taylor.

“That seems to be the pattern for me,” he says. “Every turn I’ve taken has been a surprise and always a sharp left or right turn, never straight ahead. It was because of being on the road for so long that I kind of needed a change of career, but all I ever knew was music.

“I got into music for TV, all this production music library work, because it just felt like a way to get off the road. I actually thought it was going to be a nice, easy ride. I didn’t realise it was going to turn into a real job.”

Working that “real job” is when Emanuel caught the attention of composing legend Hans Zimmer, another key member of Bleeding Fingers. “We were just doing our thing and getting a lot of attention very quickly. Hans, through his then business partner, reached out to us in London, and said, ‘Hey, you know, we see what you’re doing. Come over to LA and just have a talk.’ That’s what we did and there’s been no looking back ever since.

“There’s never a wasted note with Hans. Everything’s emotionally brilliant and musically innovative. What I love about him is that he refuses to stand still, and there’s no formula. You never know what you’re going to get next. When you’re talking about punk, to me, he’s the ultimate punk. I’ve been with him enough to see. Anytime that a rule is in his way, it’s there to be broken.”

Anyone who caught Zimmer on his Australian tour last year can attest to the punk rock nature of his music and its accompanying production. It was also clear during that tour just how much emphasis the team places on nurturing younger talent.

“The composers working on [The Simpsons] are 30 years and under,” he says. “I think that’s a prime example of how we’re giving new and young talent an opportunity to work on kind of a national treasure flagship show.”

Emanuel says it was “nerve-racking” taking on such an iconic show, especially after someone like Alf Clausen made a shock departure from the hit series last year.

“I’d be lying if I said that we were bringing something massively new to The Simpsons, apart from a renewed energy,” he says. “All of us have grown up on The Simpsons, and everyone is extremely excited to be invited in.

“It was an amazing experience to be selected as the composer for that show. You can imagine the kind of excitement and energy on the camp every time a new episode comes our way.”

“We treat [Alf’s] score with a great deal of respect. Our guys are all coming at it, chomping at the bit, and there’s a lot of people working throughout the night to deliver something incredible…we’re burning the candle not only at both ends but also from the sides.”

Given creator Matt Groening’s punk rock roots, it seems a perfect fit. “He cares deeply about every aspect of that show,” Emanuel explains.

“He can make a joke out of sound. It’s kind of incredible to watch. He can put a sound into the show and all of a sudden there’s a joke there, which just didn’t exist before…I’ve never seen it before, and it was a real eye-opener.”

Even at this point in his career, Emanuel still genuinely has to pinch himself from time-to-time.

“I still wake up every morning and go, ‘They’re going to find out today. I’m going to be out of a job tomorrow.’ People’s stories are always very different…I’m always very jealous of the people that really have a plan.”

When you make a plan in any creative industry, chances are it won’t go as expected. “For me, it’s always just been hard work, just making sure that you always deliver on a promise, and never let anyone down, and really just keep building.

“It’s just head down and do the work, really. There’s no shortcut. You can’t look at what I had for breakfast and find a magic formula.”

http://themusic.com.au/news/all/2018/03/24/russell-emanuel-bleeding-fingers-music-daniel-cribb/

INTERVIEW: Orny Adams

Published on theMusic.com.au, Mar 2018

‘Comedy Sometimes Has Too Many Rules’

US comedian Orny Adams tells Daniel Cribb he’s sweating the small things so you don’t have to.

Orny Adams might have a degree in political science and philosophy, but he doesn’t preach about politics or religion when he’s on the stage, instead, he’s in the trenches alongside his fans, fighting the good fight. “I was going after a corporation yesterday on Twitter,” Adams begins in a Massachusetts accent. “Dunkin’ Donuts in the US – I wanted them to give all my fans free doughnuts, which never happened.”

Watching his brand of observational comedy, particularly on his latest special, More Than Loud, you’ll be disgruntled about everyday things you hadn’t previously given a second thought, like the expiration date written on bottled water or various customer service experiences. “These things just happen and I think, ‘Did that really happen?’” he tells.

“It resonates, even with you in Australia, because we all experience these same things and sometimes it doesn’t really register on a conscious level; it’s back in the subconscious, so then, when I say it, other people are like, ‘Wow, that happened to me, too, and I’m just realising it.’”

Now onto his third comedy special, he has a wealth of material, which has all come from him channelling his inner-frustration into creative gold. At a certain point, being left on hold by Dunkin’ Donuts for 45 minutes was actually a win for Adams. “It feels like a loss in the moment, but, in the end, it’s a win – it’s a victory. On some level, I hope it changes things, but it never does.

“If I can make one little change, make one more customer service experience better, I feel like I’ve done my job. My job is very micro, very small – I sweat the small things and I don’t worry about the bigger picture.”

He might not get political onstage, but his degree does help out when it comes to writing stand-up. “How I write my comedy routine is exactly what I learnt in college, which was how to write a dissertation on a subject and that’s what I do – I pick a subject, I write about it, I study it, I study it, I study it, I write ten pages and then it turns into one line in my routine.”

It’s a lengthy development process if a joke doesn’t connect with an audience, but, as Adams says, failing is just “part of the process”.

What’s even worse is, I spent an hour over the weekend writing about powdered wigs and then I went online and saw another comedian had already addressed it,” he tells.

“That, to me, is more of a bummer because I was getting excited reading about, believe it or not, powdered wigs, and then I see someone else had the exact same line of thought and was way ahead of me and I had to drop it. That bums me out more than anything.”

With that in mind, you could give two different comedians the same subject matter and both of them would approach it differently. “Nobody should ever take a joke, but if two people have the same experience, then those two people have the right to discuss it,” he says.

“I used to talk about gluten a lot – a lot of people talk about gluten. It doesn’t mean the first person to mention gluten onstage owns the rights to gluten. That’s like saying, ‘Hey, every band, you can no longer singer about love because someone else has already written a love song. It’s absurd.

“Comedy sometimes has too many rules, that’s the problem – don’t get caught up in the rules, comics just need to be themselves.”

Joke theft gets discussed a lot when it comes to comedy, but there’s another issue that Adams believes isn’t on everyone’s radar, which is personality or character theft. “That’s worse,” he reinforces. “If you’re up there being another comedian, that’s probably worse than doing the person’s jokes because you’re stealing their entire essence.”

The Adams fans see onstage is fired up (“passionate – never angry”) and is almost exactly what viewers saw on Teen Wolf —  an MTV show in which he played high-school coach Bobby Finstock. There’s a reason for that – the guy who created the show Teen Wolf would come watch me do stand-up, and he wrote the part for me,” he reveals.

“I never even auditioned for that; that’s how it was written for me, so I had a full license to go in there and be that character, who actually is who I am.”

We’ll hopefully be seeing more of him on our screens later this year as he anticipates More Than Loud will hit Aussie TV at the end of the year. Adams will perform in Sydney and Melbourne mid-March and hopefully embark on a full national tour not too far down the track.

Fortunately, this special – maybe it just came out at the right time; it just really sort of resonated with fans and has really helped me sell tickets and do more venues. It’s an exciting time and an exhausting time.”

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2018/03/21/orny-adams-daniel-cribb/

INTERVIEW: What Separates The Australian Music Prize From Other Awards

Published on theMusic.com.au, Mar 2018

If you don’t agree with the 2017 Australian Music Prize shortlist, it probably means the judging panel have done their job correctly, as chairman Dave Faulkner tells Daniel Cribb.

“[The AMP] is not just a simple yes-no vote, it is actually kind of more nuanced than that,” the Hoodoo Gurus frontman begins. “Our number one thing was to try and get away from what I think is a failing of other awards, where it’s a popularity contest and the least offensive albums get the most votes because they don’t polarise people as much as some that are a bit more extreme.”

Last year saw AB Original take out the $30,000 cash prize with their powerful and acclaimed debut album Reclaim Australia, and this year’s shortlist contains another eclectic batch of artists, including Jen Cloher, Paul Kelly, Sampa The Great and more. The winner will be revealed – and decided – this Friday, March 9.

Scott Murphy, when he put the prize together, he liked the idea of it being something that no one would ever know until right before it happens,” Faulkner explains. “And that’s what we do, we meet in the morning right before the announcement happens and we decide then and there.”

The meeting isn’t as heated as you might think – it’s the shortlist debates that see various judges go head to head over certain releases, which isn’t surprising given the 13th AMP saw judges listen to more than 400 Australian albums.

Narrowing that down to 45 acts for the long list is hard enough. “The actual record companies and the people behind the ARIAs, for example, they kind of shake their heads at the AMP sometimes and I know that’s been happening this year; I’ve been hearing about it from other people,” he tells.

A couple of albums that many thought should have made the cut included Gang Of Youths’ ARIA Album Of The Year Go Farther In Lightness and Methyl Ethel’s Everything Is Forgotten. “Methyl Ethel was really close to the finish and just narrowly missed out on a place,” he reveals. “There are so many albums that happens to.”

“With the ARIAs, the problem is everyone thinks, ‘That’s a really good album; that’s got the best chance,’ and they put that one forward, whereas something else that may be a little more exciting and maybe hasn’t got such big support in the label itself – it’s a bit more of an outsider – that won’t even get anywhere near an ARIA.”

With that said, Faulkner’s quick to point out the AMP isn’t without its own issues. “Our problem is that we sometimes are a little bit in our cliques; where we’re from, what our experiences are, but we try and always to diversify our judging panel,” he says.

“From the beginning, the AMP has had a lot of female representation and it’s been 50% or close to it for a long time now and we’re now also adding judges who are a little bit less from the inner-city ghetto or indie-rock.”

The AMP has come a long way since The Drones took out the inaugural award back in 2005, and Faulkner has seen some exciting develops in Australian music since then. “We’re just becoming part of a global market,” he tells.

“We’re seeing musicians in UK articles in interviews saying how much they’re influenced by Tame Impala – years gone by that wouldn’t have been a commonplace thing.

“Australian artists are there and are being taken seriously; it’s not a battle anymore to convince people it’s possible that someone could come from Australia and be any good.”

The 13th AMP will be unveiled this Friday, March 9.

http://themusic.com.au/news/all/2018/03/08/what-separates-the-australian-music-prize-from-other-awards/

INTERVIEW: Kate Miller-Heidke

Published on theMusic.com.au, Mar 2018

Back To Basics: Kate Miller-Heidke Is Excited To Just Be A Singer-Songwriter Again

After a whirlwind few years, Kate Miller-Heidke tells Daniel Cribb she just wants to get back to basics.

Even in the middle of a much-needed family vacation, eclectic singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke is on the clock. “We’re just getting our lives back on track now,” she begins from a beach on the North Coast of New South Wales.

She’s with her long-time musical collaborator and husband, Keir Nuttall, and their new son, Ernie, trying to unwind after a chaotic couple years. Up until November of last year, the duo had been tirelessly working on Muriel’s Wedding The Musical, penning the lyrics and music for the acclaimed hit. “We were just so surprised at how hollow and empty we felt after opening night,” she tells. “The theatre is so intense and so exhilarating and I was doing long hours towards the end.

“Both Keir and I were feeling extremely burnt out and struggled at the end of that… it as such an intense experience, so we’re just gradually climbing out of that hole.

Since the November opening night, Miller-Heidke has been touring with a string quartet, breathing new life into classics and new hits. “I needed to reconnect with my audiences and sing my own songs,” she says.

A lot has happened since the release of her fourth studio album, O Vertigo!, in 2014, including a role on Australian comedy opera miniseries The Divorce and being a key player in the 2015 stage production of The Rabbits. “What I’m feeling strongly now about the next record – although it’s super early days – is that I really just want to strip it back to basics and do something a bit closer to my folky roots,” she reveals. “Just go super acoustic with a focus on the singing and nothing else; just being a singer-songwriter again.”

It’s a complete change of pace from Miller-Heidke’s 2014 record, which featured heavy vocal layering. “It was a pop record in most senses of the word, and then the album I put out last year, Live At The Sydney Opera House, captures that orchestral vibe better than I ever anticipated and I’m quite proud of that album and how it came out, so I’m feeling the pull to react against that a little bit.”

Given her past in theatre and opera influences, it’s no surprise that she’s is always looking for visual ways to elevate her live shows, and her upcoming shows at Melbourne Zoo and Taronga Zoo Sydney are prime examples of that. “Every tour has to be different,” she says. “I’m looking also looking forward to getting out to some of these regional places and some of these beautiful theatres that we have in regional Australia.”

“The way [live music] can affect your mood can be kind of magical almost. I’m a rational atheist-type person, but the power of music to me seems to be the closest we get to a supernatural experience.

“It can just remind you of the point of living, which is so easy to forget, especially as you get older and get stuck in the day to day routine. I think it can realign you with what really matters in your life.”

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2018/03/07/kate-miller-heidke-daniel-cribb/

Show Review: Queen + Adam Lambert

Published on theMusic.com.au, Mar 2018

Pic by Hugh Buttsworth

Queen + Adam Lambert

Perth Arena

Mar 6

 

A low, eerie hum radiating from the stage as show time crawled near had a packed Perth Arena on edge and acting like they were in the midst of a heated Wild Cats match, co-ordinating Mexican waves and clapping in unison while whistles shot from all corners of the room.

The giant robot from the cover of News Of The World, Frank, burst through a screen at the stage’s front and, through clever visual effects, lifted the screen up to reveal vocalist Adam Lambert and guitar icon Brian May.

A verse of We Will Rock You collided with Hammer To Fall, which showcased the band’s trademark harmonies and the room was immediately filled with electricity.

Co-founder Roger Taylor kicked off a seizure-enduring rock/metal jam and it didn’t take long for Lambert to play the part in I Go Crazy, dishing up dizzying verses and soaring choruses.

Bassist Neil Fairclough ushered in gritty funk with Another One Bites The Dust, which had everyone shuffling along in time while Lambert proved he knew how to work a crowd by eliciting cheers with swagger-fuelled dance chops.

It was clear in Tie Your Mother Down and Fat Bottomed Girls that May’s guitar work was the real star of the show, but the other members of the band were giving the music legend a run for his money, and with two drummers (including Roger’s son, Rufus Tiger Taylor) unleashing a constant wall of noise, it was sometimes easy to forget Lambert was even on the stage.

That’s how well Lambert complements the songs; he draws focus when it’s required, but doesn’t take away from the iconic music.

After a solo onslaught, Killer Queen injected a dose of classy rock into the set, delving into the more quirky fringes of the band’s back catalogue. Gut-wrenching guitar and theatrical vocal melodies were elevated by Lambert rising from below the stage on an animatronic Frank head.

“Some of you might be thinking, ‘He’s no Freddie.’ No shit, because there will only be one rock god named Freddie Mercury,” Lambert said. “I’m a fan too, just like you, only up here in the gayest suit ever.”

Any hesitations about his position fronting Queen were put to rest with his pitch-perfect conviction of Don’t Stop Me Nowand the theatrical flair in Bicycle Race.

The OG crew then took the spotlight as Roger assumed lead vocal in I’m In Love With My Car and May stood front and centre dishing up more impressive leads – the intensity of which carried over into crowd favourite I Want It All.

May was then left to his own devices on a stool at the end of the runaway and had the audience instantly on his side by strumming his way into sing along, Waltzing Matilda.

“Now I know you can sing,” he said, kicking into intimate number Love Of My Life, which had the room in dead silence during its soft intro. “This is really the best possible use of an iPhone,” he joked to the flashlight illuminated room, sliding into another verse that had Mercury appear onscreen and sing along to spine-tingling effect.

One by one the rest of the band returned to the stage and before too long Roger was at the end of the runaway belting a gold and black kit to Somebody To Love and Crazy Little Thing Call Love next to May and Lambert.

It was then time for the Taylors to shine, as father and son went head to head in a stunning drum-off before the band returned for mega-hit Under Pressure.

Taylor was on fire during the latter half of the set, even going so far as to step out from behind the kit and assume the role of frontman for A Kind Of Magic. While his vocal chops weren’t the best of the night, the significance of watching him belt out its chorus next to May wasn’t lost anyone, and the “rock’n’roll royalty” duo proved exactly why they’re still going strong as they approach the band’s 50th anniversary.

The visuals kicked into overdrive as Frank returned and through more effective use of the screens across the stage, he lifted May into space to embark on a trippy and otherworldly one-man jam session that eventually found its way to Radio Ga Ga.

It wasn’t until the quirky call and response of Bohemian Rhapsody, featuring its iconic music video on the screens behind, that the importance of the evening and band’s legacy was truly felt; something amplified when May burst from a thick fog sporting a silver trench coat while shredding.

Mercury graced the screen one more time for a memorable crowd singalong that more than had the audience ready to scream the show out by the time Lambert returned, this time dressed like royalty for We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions. Queen delivered a truly spectacular experience with Adam Lambert that was equal parts classy tribute and epic rock show.

http://themusic.com.au/music/livereviews/2018/03/07/queen-and-adam-lambert-perth-arena-daniel-cribb/

Show Review: Ed Sheeran 02.03.18

Published on theMusic.com.au, Mar 2018

Pic by Elliot Cahill

Ed Sheeran, Missy Higgins, Fergus James

Optus Stadium

Mar 2

Opening for one of the biggest pop acts in the world only two days after releasing your debut single is a mammoth task, but one that NSW country boy Fergus James was more than ready for as he claimed the title of the first artist to ever play at Perth’s Optus Stadium.

“This is a historic event that none of you will ever forget,” said Frontier Touring boss Michael Gudinski, welcoming the 18-year-old to the stage with his band.

James’ surprisingly mature and developed sound toed the line between stadium pop and rough indie rock, Little Bit You employing an upbeat twang, while acoustic number Snow paid tribute to the evening’s headline act.

Night fell and the stadium was an entirely different place by the time Missy Higgins took the stage. The affable singer struck up a conversation with a frontrow punter and then fittingly kicked into Everyone’s Waiting, with heavenly backing vocals and a soaring melody line.

“I don’t think I’ve played in front of this many people ever,” Higgins revealed, but it only took her a few bars into old school hit Ten Days for her to lock into an infectious energy and find her groove on such a big stage.

Announcing her new album, Solastalgia, earlier that week, Higgins treated fans to the first-ever performance of unreleased tune Cemetery, which teased a radical change of pace for the established musician.

A new generation fell in love with classic Scar, while a stripped-back version of Hunters & Collectors’ Throw Your Arms Around Me was a highlight of the night.

With the stadium illuminated blue and the stage wrapped in artwork from last year’s acclaimed ÷ LP, the scene was set for what could arguably be described as one of Perth’s most anticipated concerts to date. The house lights were finally cut and a live stream of Ed Sheeran leaving his greenroom elicited a deafening roar. He casually grabbed his trademark guitar and instantly transformed into a one-man army, laying down a beat and sweeping into 2017’s Castle On The Hill as a flurry of relevant visuals consumed the screens around the stage.

“I’m playing songs that hopefully you know, and if you don’t know them, it’s going to be a long hour and a half,” the UK singer laughed. Even those living under a rock and unfamiliar with his hits would have been mesmerised by the whirlwind guitar work on songs like Eraser.

The acoustics of the new venue held up remarkably well, complimenting Sheeran’s sound while elevating the crowds’ collective voice in 2011 hit The A Team, creating a truly intimate and emotional experience. At times, it was easy to forget you were in such a mammoth outdoor venue with 60,000 people.

“There’s no backing track,” Sheeran was quick to point out, explaining the functionality of his loop station after accusations at Glastonbury last year.

He claimed that Nashville currently holds the record for his loudest crowd ever and set Perth the task of beating them by “screaming out of tune” in acoustic ballad Dive. It was a request which resulted in a spine-tingling singalong, the likes of which the state likely hadn’t experienced before.

But, Sheeran wasn’t satisfied yet, demanding the unwilling attendees (the “super dads” and boyfriends), participate in Bloodstream by raising their fists. You’d be forgiven for thinking Sheeran was enlisting an army when its beat dropped, as a sea of energy was lit by bold red lights.

The looping mastermind didn’t need effects to stun the audience and convey his message, though, pulling things back for Happier and I’m A Mess, which lent on raw melodies and simple guitar parts for the most part.

Breaking the lone wolf format, Sheeran invited touring stage-hand PJ Smith to the stage for piano duties on How Would You Feel; an element that added a level of excitement to a song that usually “chills people out”.

Pop rock megahit Galway Girl transitioned into Michael Buble’s Feeling Good and then I See Fire before the night’s highlight, Photograph, captured the evening perfectly alongside Perfect.

Fans had one final chance to dance like crazy in Nancy Mulligan and sing until they lost their voice in Thinking Out Loud and Sing and they did just that, continuing to fill the venue with deafening screams until well after encore tunes Shape Of You and You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.

Even the super dads and boyfriends were blown away by Ed Sheeran in WA last night. It’s easy to see why the Aus and NZ leg of the ÷ World Tour has sold one million ticket sales.

http://themusic.com.au/news/all/2018/03/03/ed-sheeran-pulls-off-australia%E2%80%99s-most-intimate-stadium-gig-ever-as-tour-commences/