At one point he encouraged the crowd to hush anyone chatting by stroking their arm, while the troubadour later demanded an outbreak of hugs.
Sheeran certainly has a hold over his fans, but the messianic tendencies might have been a sideshow, save the fact an image of him in a Christ-like pose served as a backdrop. Mostly Sheeran's mannerisms bow to energetic pop convention, from leading audience sing-a-longs to choosing opportune moments to dispense with his guitar and sprint to the front of the stage.
Not all of Sheeran's songs are straightforward. He dabbles in a number of genres, and there's a cleverness there which he doesn't always get credit for. Some melodies go for down-the-line catchiness, notably Small Bump and a pleasant duet with support act The Passenger on Hearts Of Fire.
There was also a tremendously creative reworking of Nina Simone's Be My Husband that transformed it into a lusty foot-stomper, and a strident The City that cracked along at medal-winning pace. Yet the 21-year-old was over-ambitious. There was no new material but this set still clocked in at nearly two hours; ludicrously overstretched with some truly banal filler.
This was best exemplified in an encore that opened with an extended, fiery You Need Me But I Don't Need You that highlighted Sheeran's creative streak, all loops and vocals, only for two meandering numbers to pad it out till The A Team arrived. More editing needed, but Sheeran is a legitimate talent.