There is no minus on the Ed Sheeran balance sheet (yet) but, collating his arithmetically inspired solo album titles, it appeared that plus multiplied by divide equals the Mathematics tour.
Whatever the equation, it’s a hitfest of impressive magnitude with eye-popping visuals to match – an in-the-round stage on the Hampden Park pitch, with a rotating outward walkway on which Sheeran got in his daily steps (and then some) and a gigantic lampshade canopy encircled by smaller screens which looked like huge hanging plectrums.
Apart from that, it was pretty much Sheeran and acoustic guitar.
Sheeran made a convincing case for the busker’s tool as a stadium instrument, but also introduced the alternative star of the show – the loop station which allowed for a fully live layering of sound.
Save for an interlude when Sheeran was joined by a full band, who were kept to the anti-stages on the fringes, this was a one-man pop production delivered with innate confidence and stuffed with earworm tunes which, for better or worse, have nibbled their way into the national consciousness.
They ranged from the clipped pop funk of Shivers to the acoustic ruckus of Castle on the Hill, the cheesy Celtic pop of Galway Girl – with bonus fiddler – and his hugely popular first-dance-at-a-wedding ballads Thinking Out Loud and Perfect, revealed to be his personal favourite.
Sheeran has pop bangers to spare, originally writing Lego House for boy band JLS and donating Love Yourself to Justin Bieber when it failed to elicit much enthusiasm in his team.
The latter tune provided a pop R&B shot to the set, while the encore – for which the Ipswich Town supporter sported a Scotland football jersey – delivered some Friday night feeling via the ubiquitous Shape of You, the trancey house keyboards of Bad Habits and epic jam You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.