“They said this would never happen,” belted DJ Khaled outside MTV’s Times Square studios on Monday (Oct. 2), where hoards of music fans flocked to the pavement to catch a peek of the much-hyped reboot of MTV’s TRL. And yet — nine years after the original series broadcast what was intended to be its goodbye party — Khaled was kicking off the show’s iconic countdown once more. “You ready to make history?”
“10…9…8…7…” Khaled began, his son Asahd in tow, as an audience made up of Converse-bearing twenty-somethings chanted along, doing their best to get caught on the roving camera. By the time Khaled reached one, Migos took to the surprise outdoor stage, making history as the reboot’s first performers with a thumping (and bleep-filled) rendition of their hit “Too Hotty.”
But it was Ed Sheeran who really stole the show as the first performer to walk on the MTV Studios set. And it only took a glimpse of Sheeran’s red hair near the outdoor stage between 45th and 46th Streets on 7th Ave for fans to start screaming and pulling out their cell phones.
Rising above a sea of young faces, guitar in hand, the “Shape of You” star treated fans to a goosebump-inducing performance of acoustic Divide track “Perfect,” while the crowd swayed, danced and waved below. And while he saved his vocal chords between songs, abstaining from chat with the audience, Sheeran reached down to sign notebooks and spare scraps of paper from as many fans as possible — and when several handed over their iPhones for the star to snap a selfie, he was happy to oblige.
Sheeran’s live performance of Divide hit “Castle On The Hill” provided a rollicking, energized finale, and as Sheeran exited the stage, the renewed TRL had fulfilled Khaled’s history-making promise. New Yorkers may have been heading into the final stretch of 2017, but for an hour — in Times Square, at least — it felt like just another day in 2007.