VH1 Storytellers returned Saturday night after a lengthy hiatus with Ed Sheeran, who tested out the series’ new live format. The gig took place at Dublin, Ireland’s Whelan’s, an intimate venue handpicked by Sheeran as it was the place where he witnessed a life-changing Damien Rice concert at the age of 11. In addition to his stripped-down renditions of his own hits like “Don’t,” “Sing” and “Thinking Out Loud,” the X crooner also performed a cover of “American Pie” singer Don McLean’s Van Gogh ode “Vincent” for the first time.
As per Storytellers tradition, Sheeran also shared the tales behind the tracks. In the case of “Lego House,” the singer revealed that the song – which he originally penned for the U.K. R&B troupe JLS – was inspired by a breakup, and that Sheeran wrote the first draft of his + single “You Need Me” when he was just 15 years old. He even opened his old diary at one point to detail the story behind “The A Team.”
However, the Grammy-nominated singer’s Storytellers didn’t come without some controversy: Because of the decision to host the concert in the tiny Whelan’s, over 100 fans that scored tickets for the Storytellers – including competition winners – were turned away after the venue hit its 400-person capacity, Goss.ie reports.
After being bombarded by angry comments on Facebook, Whelan’s responded, “We can understand people’s disappointment at receiving an eTicket for the Ed Sheeran show, then to find there were no spaces left. It is common practice for all TV productions worldwide to oversubscribe as a percentage of people who apply for tickets, simply don’t turn up.” Whelan’s then added that the ticket clearly stated that the Sheeran performance required wristbands which would be distributed on a “first come, first serve” basis in order to gain admission.