Ed Sheeran has been blowing up charts and selling out concert tickets since his BFF Taylor Swift introduced him to the music world a few years ago. While he’s had many hits since touring with her during her Red tour in 2013 and 2014, it seems like his song “Photograph” is a big time fan favorite. With the heartfelt lyrics and his vocal range, how could it not be?
The track was his fifth released single from his second studio album X. He wrote the song with Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid. The ballad derives its music primarily from an acoustic guitar, piano and programmed drums. With visually descriptive lyrics, it discusses a long-distance relationship inspired by Sheeran’s own experience of being away from his then-girlfriend while he was on tour.
The single was released on May 11, 2015, and was followed by the premiere of the music video on May 9, 2015. The video is a cute one, a montage of real home footage of Sheeran’s infancy, childhood, and adolescence, providing insight on his private early life such as his inclination to playing music instruments.
The first time he performed the song on tour was for his X tour, which ran from 2014 to 2015. Check out the list of our favorite “Photograph” tour performances, below.
5. “Photograph” (2014), New York City
The first time Sheeran allegedly performed “Photograph” live was for a crowd at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on June 14, 2014. How lucky were those people in attendance?
While the sound cracks up a bit in this clip, we can’t help but add it to our list simply because it’s one of the first times he played the track live. Of course, this show was sold out, and after hearing this performance, who can question why?
4. “Photograph” (2015), Ottawa
Did you ever notice that Sheeran is a one-man-band? We picked this clip for our best “Photograph” tour performances list because before singing the song he explains how he actually plays all of the music for the track sans backup players.
In the clip, he explains that he uses a “machine,” and that it actually records all of the noises he makes, then replays it back, creating the beat for the song. He adds to all of that by playing the guitar with the machine, too. Pretty cool, right? Only a real musician needs no one else but himself and his instruments to mesmerize a crowd. How talented IS this guy?
3.”Photograph” (2014), London
What could possibly be cooler than playing one of your biggest hit songs in the huge arena in your hometown? That’s why this particular Sheeran “Photograph” performance from back in 2014 almost topped our list. The ginger singer not only looks young and more clean-cut than we’re used to seeing in this clip, but he looks amazed to be playing at the O2 Arena with a full crowd. The O2 Arena is one of the biggest in London, and playing there is equivalent to playing at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Before he busted out “Photograph” at this particular show, Sheeran reportedly talked to the crowd about how fans on Twitter said he never performs the song live, and that this was his response to that. You can’t help but notice his little smirk whenever he sings the lyrics “wait for me to come home” at the end, too. What a touching experience that had to be.
2. “Photograph” (2015), Dublin
Is there a place in the world with people who don’t adore this guy? Seriously.
Back in 2015, while on tour, Sheeran played at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland. Of course, he sang “Photograph,” and the crowd couldn’t have been happier with the performance. One of the reasons this particular production almost topped our list of the best “Photograph” performances is simply because of the audience’s engagement. Listen to them sing along with him. You can barely hear him sing the lyrics. How cool would it be to hear a crowd of that size sing personal words that you’ve written?
1. “One/Photograph” (2015), Vancouver
What’s better than hearing two amazing songs merged into one? That’s why this video topped our list. Back in 2015, Sheeran played in Vancouver, Canada and wowed the crowd with an awesome rendition of his track “One” mixed in with “Photograph.” By watching the footage, it’s easy to see that the audience is pleased with just hearing “One” but when “Photograph” comes in they go nuts. The way he was able to transition into one song from another just shows how amazing of an artist and performer he is.
Back in 2015, Sheeran played in Vancouver, Canada and wowed the crowd with an awesome rendition of his track “One” and then mixed it in with “Photograph.” By watching the online footage, it’s easy to see that the audience is pleased with just hearing “One” but when “Photograph” comes in, they go nuts. The way he was able to transition into one song from another just shows how amazing of an artist and performer he is. Perhaps performances like this one is why his tour tickets sell out so fast?
Learn more about “Photograph” here.
Learn more about Ed Sheeran here.
Read the lyrics for “Photograph” here.