Ed Sheeran took a few minutes between gigs in Florida this week to blow the minds of some high school band members when he casually strolled into their practice with his guitar as they performed his latest hit, “Eyes Closed.” The singer — who played Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium on Saturday — not only crashed the band practice last week, but also surprised the students by handing out tickets to all of them for last weekend’s stadium gig in their hometown.
“I thought I’d come and play some songs for you,” Sheeran told the high schoolers. “I’ve also brought some guitars to give to you guys for [your] music department,” he said to whoops from the room. “Tomorrow is to 72,000 people, but right here I’m gonna play a tiny [unintelligible] if that’s okay.”
As some openly teared up, Sheeran played his new single, “Perfect,” while the Blake High School band captured the shock moment on their phones, then he stuck around for selfies and autographs. In footage on the school’s Facebook page, Sheeran was even seen signing the back of one student’s midnight blue electric guitar. As if that wasn’t enough, Ed provided some expert backing vocals to a quartet of kids playing his hit “Photograph” on acoustic guitars while allowing one of the students to confidently take the lead.
In the midst of his massive North American stadium tour, Sheeran is also sprinkling in more intimate gigs, including a show on Friday (May 26) at the 2,600-capacity Tabernacle club in Atlanta; the next night he will be back to the big time with a gig at the city’s 71,000-capacity Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Watch the high school drop-in video here.