Ed Sheeran appeared on stage with a guitar and loop pedal during his Divide World Tour concert at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Friday. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Ed Sheeran Fans Give Him Plenty of Love in First Jakarta Concert


MAY 05, 2019

Jakarta. Around 50,000 Ed Sheeran fans flocked to the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium last Friday to see British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran in his first ever concert in Indonesia – causing massive traffic jam around Senayan in South Jakarta. The gig was the last one on the Asian leg of Sheeran's "Divide World Tour 2019." 

A large crowd had already gathered at the stadium when Japanese rock band One OK Rock – handpicked by Sheeran to open for him – started the show with their hits "Deeper Deeper," "Head High" and "Wasted Nights." 

Right on cue, Sheeran appeared on stage at 8 p.m., kicking off his performance with "Castle on a Hill," a hit from his latest album "Divide."

Sheeran's Indonesian fans have been waiting for him to visit their country since he canceled a Jakarta concert two years ago after falling off his bike in London and broke his arm.

"Sorry for canceling my concert before, I hope this will make it up," Sheeran told the crowd.

The singer, who writes most of his songs based on true stories, played 18 of them in a long set on Friday, including his biggest hits "Thinking Out Loud," "Photograph," "Perfect" and "Shape of You." He also surprised the crowd by singing a song he wrote for Justin Bieber, "Love Yourself."

Midway through the gig, Sheeran paused to tell the crowd that after all the hits, he was still amazed that someone from a little town in England – Sheeran grew up in Suffolk – could end up performing in far away countries like Indonesia where English is not even the first language.

Sheeran was very interactive with the crowd throughout the two-hour concert and his request for them to sing along never went unanswered. 

After playing "Sing," a song he co-wrote with Pharrell Williams, Sheeran left the stage, followed by the familiar crowd chant of "We want more!" 

As expected, Sheeran did come back to the stage soon after, and also surprised some in the crowd by changing his shirt to the Indonesian national football team jersey, with a large Garuda patch on the chest. 

The encore had Sheeran showing off his rapping and guitar skills in "You Need Me, I Don't Need You," accompanied by mesmerizing lighting and stage effects. 

The strong crowd had a divided view on the concert. One fan from Macedonia, Marshen, said the crowd was large, but a little lame. 

"I think [the performance] was really good, Ed Sheeran did an amazing job, but the people weren't as energetic," she said.

Angel from Jakarta said the concert was great though her favorite songs were not in the playlist.

Another Sheeran fan from Jakarta, Gita, said she was "very satisfied" and that she was pleasantly surprised when the betattooed singer returned to the stage wearing the Indonesian football team jersey. "I was surprised by that. It was very respectful of him to wear our football team's jersey," he said.

Jakarta was the last city in Sheeran's Asian tour after Taiwan, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Seoul, Osaka and Bangkok.