Ed Sheeran’s Long-Awaited Return To The Philippines

Last weekend, the English singer-songwriter serenaded his Filipino fans with his greatest hits.

It’s been six years since Ed Sheeran last performed in the Philippines, with his Divide tour in 2018.

On March 9, 2024, he made his return with the Mathematics tour along with opening acts Calum Scott and the Philippines’ own Ben&Ben.

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Prior to the show, Sheeran embraced Filipino culture by bringing out a karaoke machine and belting tunes with the other artists and concert crew.

“Karaoke is a huge thing here in the Philippines, so I found a portable machine to wheel around backstage before the show tonight in Manila,” the singer wrote in an Instagram post.

Ed Sheeran, Calum Scott, and Ben&Ben singing karaoke
Image via Instagram @teddysphotos

“Shout out to @benandbenmusic and @calumscott for bringing the A game. And to Kev for joining in the fun,” he added.

In the video, they’re heard singing songs such as Sheeran’s own “Thinking Out Loud,” Beyonce’s “Love On Top,” Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” Abba’s “Dancing Queen,” and Maroon 5’s “This Love.”

Let The Show Begin

Come show time at the SMDC Festival Grounds, Scott and Ben&Ben opened the concert with their own sets. Scott sang his songs “Whistle,” “Where Are You Now,” and “Dancing On My Own,” among others. 

Meanwhile, the Filipino band also performed some of their most popular hits including “Paninindigan Kita,” “Leaves,” and “Kathang-Isip.”

Filipino band Ben&Ben with Ed Sheeran
Image via Instagram @benandbenmusic

Sheeran then took to the stage, opening his set with “Tides” from his 2021 album. He also played fan favorites “The A Team,” “Castle on the Hill,” and “Lego House.”

The stage itself is a unique sight. With a 360 degree set-up, the revolving platform lets Sheeran perform in front of the entire crowd from the center of the venue.

A Perfect Night

“In 2015, when I came to play in this city for the first time, you were the loudest crowd that I’ve ever heard on tour. But since I’ve not been here in such a long time, I need to be reminded of the volume that Manila can get to,” Sheeran said, as he encouraged the audience to make some noise.

For his mash-up of “Don’t” and “No Diggity,” he called on the audience to sing along. He even had everyone harmonizing for “Give Me Love.”

Ed Sheeran in Manila
Image via Instagram @teddysphotos

Towards the middle of the concert, Sheeran performed one of his most popular songs. He joked, “If you do not know the words to this next song, then you’re at the wrong concert!” Of course, everyone knew the lyrics to “Thinking Out Loud” by heart. Afterwards, he also sang the song he wrote for Justin Bieber, “Love Yourself.”

Later on in the night, Sheeran surprised the crowd by inviting Ben&Ben’s frontmen back on stage. “What I loved doing was discovering local music,” he shared. “I heard this band Ben&Ben who I loved and got them to open up. Please make some noise for Paolo and Miguel from Ben&Ben!”

Paolo and Miguel of Ben&Ben performing with Ed Sheeran
Image via Instagram @benandbenmusic

Together, they sang the band’s song “Maybe The Night.” On Instagram, the band expressed their gratitude for the opportunity. “To share the stage with such a genuine and brilliant artist is a great honor and more than that, to have conversations with this very same person is beyond our wildest dreams.”

Sheeran closed the night with his songs “Afterglow,” “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” “Shape of You,” and “Bad Habits.”

“I won’t leave it at seven years next time,” he said. “Manila, this has been really special. I do not take this for granted.”

Banner image via Instagram @teddysphotos.

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