Sheeran 'loves his job', wows Perth crowd

UK singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has kicked off his Australian tour at Perth's at Optus Stadium.
UK singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has kicked off his Australian tour at Perth's at Optus Stadium.

Anyone sceptical of how Ed Sheeran could maintain the intimacy of his ballads performing as a one-man band in a stadium was quickly silenced as he kicked off his Australian tour in Perth.

The English musician reflected that he had come a long way from performing to 30 people in Sydney during his first Australian show in 2011.

Sheeran was also the first musical act to perform at Optus Stadium on Friday night and told the crowd of about 60,000 people he was "properly honoured".

"I'm having the time of my life up here," he said.

"What a beautiful stadium, by the way. This is a really, really nice stadium.

"I know it's new. It might get s*** in time."

The Grammy winner opened the show with the upbeat Castle on the Hill and Eraser from his latest album, before playing one of his most thought-provoking songs, A Team, with the crowd lighting up the venue with their phones.

He also performed Photograph, How Would You Feel (Paean), Thinking Out Loud, Sing and Shape of You during the two-hour show.

But it was perhaps most remarkable to witness a united audience scream the heartbreaking lyrics of Dive and the loving lyrics of Perfect, which Sheeran said was his favourite song.

There was at least one proposal during the ballad but Sheeran did not seem to notice over the roaring crowd.

The best-selling recording artist of last year continues to perform with a loop station and using the crowd participation means each show can be slightly different.

Sheeran asked people to dance, sing, get loose and make fools of themselves.

His predominantly female fan base was eager to oblige, but the "super dads" and boyfriends needed more encouragement to join in.

"Perth, I really love my job," the 27-year-old grinned.

It is no wonder, given Sheeran sold a record one million tickets for his 18-show Divide tour of Australia and New Zealand, smashing Dire Straits' record of 950,000 set in 1986.

Many fans were disappointed when the memorable show finally came to an end but some Sheerios are already preparing for night two.

* Ed Sheeran will perform again in Perth before travelling to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland and Dunedin.

Australian Associated Press