By: Julia Singer//
Ed Sheeran is unquestionably one of the biggest stars in pop music today. Part of Ed’s success is his undeniable talent when performing live. Although he’s only one man, Ed is somehow able to captivate arenas and stadiums with just a guitar and his loop pedal. Currently on tour promoting his album, ÷, Ed’s renovated setlist and stage design adds another level of excitement to the show. This past week I got to see Ed perform in Philly, making this my 7th Ed Sheeran concert since Taylor Swift’s Red Tour in early 2013.
Despite being a seasoned veteran of Ed Sheeran concerts, I still felt the same amount of excitement that I have experienced all the times before. I have seen Ed in all different venues, from a bar on the Jersey Shore to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, plus numerous arenas in between, and I honestly thought I had experienced it all. This concert was different though, as it was the first time I sat on the floor of a huge, sold out Ed Sheeran concert.
James Blunt was the opener for this concert, and he was absolutely perfect. His song, “Make Me Better”, was co-written by Ed and happens to be one of my favorite songs. And of course, It wouldn’t have been a James Blunt set without his famous hit, “You’re Beautiful,” which the whole crowd sang along to. By the end of his set, he had the audience on their feet, anxiously waiting on Ed. Soon, all of the extra instruments were taken off stage, leaving just the mic stand and Ed’s loop.
Ed started the show off strong performing “Castle on the Hill” and then went into “Eraser,” a powerful rap about his rise to fame. As a solo artist, it is so powerful watching Ed perform. With only himself to fall back on, it’s beyond impressive how he can start from scratch and make a whole beat in seconds to support his vocals. It was especially cool to hear songs like “Galway Girl” and “Nancy Mulligan” live. Not only are those two of my favorites from the album, but hearing Ed imitate the instruments featured on those songs with only his guitar was completely amazing.
From the first time I saw Ed until now, hearing “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” still always stands out in my mind as one of the best parts of the show. This rap from his first LP, +, proves just how versatile Ed is as an artist. Although the album version of the song is only four minutes long, Ed’s concert performance of this song can take anywhere from five to twenty minutes. Every time I’ve heard this song live, it’s been performed differently and that’s what makes it so special. This song made for a great and bittersweet ending of the concert. It also made me lose my voice… but that was bound to happen anyway!
I don’t think I will ever get tired of seeing Ed Sheeran perform live. Every time I get to see him, I come out of the concert feeling more inspired than ever before. Ed was nothing but a small town British boy with a guitar and a dream. He turned his dream into a reality and now he is selling out stadiums by doing what he loves. If you’ve never seen Ed live, you still have time as his North American tour continues on through November. After that, he heads back home to the UK for his (almost sold out) stadium tour.