Ed Sheeran VS Bruno Mars: Which pop allstar had the superior concert?

 Image credit: POPSUGAR, 2017

Image credit: POPSUGAR, 2017

Tahlia Zangari spent the first two weeks of uni hitting up the concerts of two of the greatest performers in pop today.

To start off, I just want to acknowledge that there seems to be a concert frenzy happening in Australia right now. Who would’ve thought that two of the biggest names in pop music, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars, would not only be in the same country at the same time, but also playing on the same nights IN THE SAME LOCATION. RIP to the transportation system in Homebush. Aside from my frustrations about the horrors of trying to get to the venue on these nights, these are two of the greatest concerts I’ve seen. Almost everything, from the lights, music and the actual performers themselves, were flawless. But here comes the hard part, trying to figure out which artist has the better show.

So, let’s start off and dive into Sheeran’s concert. Ed’s Divide tour in Australia and New Zealand alone is the biggest we’ve ever seen, with over 1 million fans trekking out to see the Brit. Something that made Ed’s concert superior to Bruno’s was that he made the engagement with the audience genuine. He told funny stories about how he’s a loser when he goes to a concert himself, and showcased what a down-to-earth guy he is. Who would’ve thought that one guy on stage with just a guitar and a loop peddle could create two hours of a phenomenal concert experience?  His skills are mind blowing, he managed to get a whole crowd of 80,000 dancing to, “Bloodstream,” with just the accompaniment a guitar and telling the crowd to jump when the beat drops. One thing I know some people were disappointed by was Ed’s final song which was, “You need me, I don’t need you.” Don’t get me wrong, this song is a banger. But it seemed that his performance of “Shape of You” got a better reception and maybe should have closed the show. It was clear who came for the “÷” album, and who were his day-ones as the songs from that album tended to get more crowd participation.

 Image credit: The Brag, 2018

Image credit: The Brag, 2018

For the record, Bruno Mars is that smallest performer I’ve ever seen live. Seriously, it’s crazy. But for the absence of height, he makes it up with his gigantic stage presence. He literally drips in FINESSE. The concert was theatrical from the opening song and built hype as the curtain dropped down and BAM! There’s little Mars dancing through his opener, “Finesse”. This was a more thrilling opening to Ed’s opening song, “Castle on the Hill,” to which he simply just walked up onto the stage and picked up his guitar. Bruno knows how to work a crowd. At one point of the night he said he stopped singing and would only start again once the crowd got loud enough. And of course, everyone in the arena obeyed and he quickly got back into his suave performance of “Locked out of Heaven.” Although going to Mars’ concert was expensive and left a lot of his fans broke, it was worth it. I personally didn’t think that Bruno’s, “24k Magic,” album was one of his best, but it paid off on stage. I’ve never been to a concert that had so many people from different ages dancing for almost every song. The highlight of the night was when Bruno gave a shout out to Bankstown, making a joke that he was going to take his girlfriend on a vacation there. The crowd went berserk for that joke. Bruno got the crowd involved the whole night, but at times it just felt like your generic concert where the artist goes around the arena telling the crowd that he sees them (throwback to Drake’s concert last year). However, Bruno’s overall stage production, special effects and back up band “The Hooligans” were unbelievable. Don’t get me wrong, Ed’s stage production was amazing, but it doesn’t compare to Bruno’s lit-up stage and fireworks.

 Image credit: The Brag, 2018

Image credit: The Brag, 2018

And now the moment of truth: who had the better show? The hardest thing about this review is that these two concerts are beyond comparable. Ed delivered a friendly and laid-back concert as he played acoustic versions of his greatest songs. Bruno gave you a fun, high energy, dance enthusiastic, visual spectacular. Both performers, however, sound astounding when you hear them live. As you can see, this is gonna be a tough call to make. Both where unbelievable and I’d happily go see them again. But for the sake of this review, I must make the tough decision. And the winner is …*DRUMROLL*… the fiery red head himself, ED SHEERAN! Don’t get me wrong, I loved every second of Bruno Mars. But personally, Ed wins since he made the audience feel like the show that they were attending was unique to the other ones through his hilarious banter and quirky personality. *Cue happy Ed Sheeran meme*

 Image credit: Stemmit, 2017

Image credit: Stemmit, 2017

Tahlia Zangari is a second-year Public Communications student who is crazy about music and broke from all the concerts she attends… please send her money. You can check out the latest music she’s obsessed with this month by checking out her Spotify