The audience rose from their seats when Ed Sheeran, a breakout music artist from the U.K., stepped on stage with his guitar Sunday evening at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion.
The concert was sold out. And while Waterfront Concert staff would not confirm the exact number in attendance, the venue’s capacity is 16,000.
“As soon as I knew he was coming to Maine, I found out when the tickets would be on sale and I bought them the first day,” said Karen Doughty of Farmingdale, who was at the concert with her daughter, Maggie, celebrating her 16th birthday with friends. Both are big fans of Sheeran’s music, which is a blend of acoustic folk and pop.
“There’s just a sexiness about his voice, and there’s that little hint of accent that comes through,” Jennifer Bechard of Hallowell, the other mother in their group, said. “I love his lyrics — he’s definitely a poet.”
Sheeran, 24, hails from England, where he grew up in a small town near the coast. Since his debut album was released in 2011, his fanbase has grown rapidly in the U.K. and abroad. In 2013, he won the Brit Awards Best British Male Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act, and he was nominated for Best New Artist at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, where he sang a duet with Elton John.
In Bangor, Sheeran performed songs from his most recent album, “x,” read as “multiple,” which was released in 2014 and quickly rose to No. 1 in the U.K. Albums Chart and the U.S. Billboard 200. It won the Brit Award for British Album of the Year in 2015 and was nominated for the Album of the Year at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.
He started the show with “I’m a mess,” then moved on to more well-known songs “Photograph” and “Thinking Out Loud.”
“I think his songs are just very relatable,” said Jeanette Dosseva, 22, of Portland, who attended the concert with her mother, Emilia Dosseva. “You can listen to his music no matter what mood you’re in.”
The two drove up to Bangor earlier in the day to hit the Memorial Day weekend sales and go out to eat before the show.
“I’ve never been to a concert in Bangor before,” Jeanette Dosseva said. “Maine has some really good concerts planned for this summer.”
From Bangor, Sheeran will continue his “x Tour,” performing in Philadelphia on May 26. The concert is sold out. Then he’s scheduled to perform several shows in New York — also all sold out — before taking the tour to several venues in Canada, then California, Missouri, Colorado, Indiana and Wisconsin.
In July, Sheeran will travel to the U.K. to perform in Ireland and England, including three concerts at London’s Wembley Stadium, which will be his biggest solo shows to date, according to a BBC story about the tour.
Sheeran will be back touring the U.S. in September, and by late November he’ll be performing in Australia.