It is fair to say that 2 years ago I was 100% caught up in Ed Sheeran mania. Having listened to him since his Loose Change and Songs I Wrote with Amy days but always missing out on the relatively limited ticket releases managing to get tickets to his high commended ‘X’ tour for Christmas is certainly a highlight of my 20 year long life. What perhaps made the deal even sweeter was when I discovered that his warm up acts for the show were OneRepublic and Passenger it essentially became a mini-festival straight off one of my now long forgotten iPod playlists.
After the soft start of Passenger, who included a joke of how Frozen‘s ‘Let It Go’ has been often confused with his most well known song ‘Let Her Go’, the crowd and myself was whipped in a singing and dancing frenzy by the ever-energetic Ryan Tedder who brought some absolute tunes as well as some more classic old school OneRepublic. But it was the show put on by the man on the poster after these warm ups that was truly incredible. What is without a doubt Ed’s biggest strength and selling point is his ability as a live performer. Able to control the crowd well while maintaining a high and consistent level of performance, his now famous loop pedal allows him to beautifully craft songs that everyone knows and loves right in front of yours eyes rather than simply slapping on a backing track and singing along. This intermixed with his freestyles of other artists songs with ease and almost seamless transitions between songs made the experience feel unique and not just listening to the album live. If you have not seen it, I would recommend looking up any performance from the show on YouTube or even his performance of ‘Bloodstream’ at the Brit awards of the same year for a glimpse of what is hard to put into words. The proof of all this is the simple fact that Ed Sheeran was the first performer ever to sell out three nights at Wembley without a supporting band. An achievement that is impressive as it sounds and his a testament to his almost universal popularity as well as his impressive talent as a musician.
As a single concert goes it managed to put you through a series of emotions and moods. One minute you’ll be bouncing along to ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ then suddenly you will be on the verge of tears looking around the stadium at the phone lights on while Ed sings ‘Photograph’ or, and luckily for me, his first live performance of ‘Small Bump’ since its release almost 4 years prior.
While his albums and music may have gotten less personal and more generic, I would stand by the claim that Ed Sheeran is easily one of if not the best live artists around at the moment and I will definitely be in line for his next tour.