Ed Sheeran with pōwhiri group kaiHaka
Double Grammy Award winner Ed Sheeran will perform his first concert at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland tonight. The concert is one of six performances here in New Zealand.
This afternoon Sheeran received an official welcome ahead of his concert. He has 14 concerts in total which makes him the joint-title holder of the most stadium show on an Australian and NZ tour. He shares that record with ACDC Tour in 2010.
Te Kāea asked Sheeran what he thought about his first traditional welcome.
He replied, “I really wish I’d done that before, yeah I really wish I’d done it the first few times I’d come here. But to be honest, I really know that didn’t know that I could.”
Sheeran gifted the pōwhiri group, kaiHaka, with a copy of his album Divide. The group, in turn, gifted him with a traditional string-wind pūrerehua instrument.
More than 40,000 people are expected to attend each of his three consecutive sold shows here before heading down the country. Sheeran is also a hit with many Māori and he says he's hoping to experience more of the Māori culture.
“I got given a Māori tattoo and I got greenstone, but I don’t know if that counts,” he says chuckling.
“I got it the first time I came here. The dude said it meant, I can’t remember, it was like love and light, something like that.
Following the Auckland concerts will head south to Dunedin to perform three concerts where 100,000 fans are expected to attend.