While the old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups ad slogan that promoted “two great tastes that taste great together” might not apply perfectly to the pairing that occurred at the Roundhouse in London on Saturday night, it was at the very least an eyebrow-raising moment when those who came to see the Darkness in concert were greeted with an unexpected opening set by...Ed Sheeran?!
In truth, it’s not as surprising as it might’ve otherwise been, given Sheeran’s acknowledgement of being a Darkness fanboy, even turning up in the recent documentary about the band, Welcome to the Darkness. Still, one can only imagine the reactions within the venue when Sheeran strolled upon the stage.
“It was always my ambition to be onstage with [the Darkness] one day,” Sheeran said during the course of his six-song set. “Check me out on MySpace… I hope you like it… If you don’t, it’s only half an hour.” He also pointedly mentioned that he'd bought his copy of their Permission to Land album when he was 13 and - as noted - indicated that it had been his dream to open for them as well.
During the course of his set, Sheeran performed several of his most famous hits, including "Bad Habits," "Shape of You," and "Thinking Out Loud." In addition, he performed a mash-up of "Don't" combined with Blackstreet's "No Diggity."
Later, he joined the band for a performance of their hit single "Love Is Only a Feeling," which - thanks to some kind soul in the audience - was filmed for posterity.
Sheeran has been flying the flag for the Darkness for years. Not only did he have the band as his opening act during his Divide Tour in 2019, but in advance of performing at the Capital FM Jingle Bell Ball in 2017, Sheeran was talking up how he had big plans to sell Taylor Swift on the band.
"I'm trying to convince her to come and watch the Darkness afterwards," he said. "The Darkness are playing that night at Hammersmith or Brixton and I'm trying to convince her to come. I think she'd really dig the Darkness."
Mind you, if Sheeran had been paying attention, he would’ve already known that Swift digs the Darkness: by that point, she’d already done a commercial for Apple Music where she can be seen dancing her heart out to the strains of “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” as you can see below.