When I found out that my parents had managed to get me tickets for Ed Sheeran ’s tour I screamed so loud with excitement that the neighbour knocked on my door and asked if everything was alright. Whilst this was somewhat embarrassing it shows just how much love I have for the man…
From the moment 13-year-old me listened to ‘The A Team’ I was completely in awe of Ed Sheeran, not only because he was a fellow ginger (although this was a factor ) but because he was immensely talented and ridiculously good at writing songs. I quickly made it my priority to listen to Ed’s breakthrough album, Plus over and over again until I knew the words off by heart and could claim that I was in fact Ed’s biggest fan. Posters of the singer started filling up every square inch of my wall to the point that it looked like I had Ed Sheeran wallpaper. I was even lucky enough to see Ed perform in 2012 , around a year after Plus was released. I sang (or more like shouted) to hits like ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ , ‘Lego House’ and ‘Give Me Love’ with ‘I love Ed’ adorned across my face.
Since then a lot of things have changed. I’ve transformed from a 13-year-old girl getting nervous about choosing her GCSE options, to a 20-year-old who is even more nervous about finishing her degree in a year (yikes..). Ed, on the other hand has gone from British breakthrough act, to the bestselling global recording artist of 2017. Since I first saw him, Ed has literally taken the world by storm ( as well as having a yearlong hiatus). Let’s just say if you look under the word success in the thesaurus Ed Sheeran’s name would be there. After the enormous success of Plus, Ed has released two further number one albums (Multiply and Divide )that have seen him win countless awards, and break numerous records. And just to top it off, he is now performing on his second sell out world tour.
One thing that hasn’t changed is my immense love for Ed and , although I didn’t think it was possible, this love for him as grown after watching him perform at Wembley. From the moment he took to the stage with ‘Castle on the Hill’ until the closing lines of ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ he was putting in 110 per cent effort to keep the 90,000 strong crowd entertained.
What I loved most was Ed’s participation with the crowd. I was worried about how the enormous venue may effect the experience. When I saw Ed for the first time it was at a small venue in Bournemouth, so Wembley obviously had a very different feel. However, somehow, Ed had the ability to make the concert feel personal , despite the immense venue, from asking us to repeat lyrics and egging us on to dance, no matter how silly we thought we looked. And we didn’t need to be asked twice by Ed. What resulted in Ed’s communication with the crowd was 90, 000 people all waving their arms to ‘Sing.’
At one point he gave a special shout out to the boyfriends and dads who had been dragged along to his gig , in order to encourage them to join in. Ed has an immense energy when performing and every single member of the audience came to share this energy with him during the show.
One of the best things about Ed is his down to earth personality which everyone who has met him has raved about. It’s really refreshing to see someone who has stuck to their roots no matter how successful they have become. This was seen from the moment he set foot on the stage in his trademark baggy jeans, t -shirt and trainers, an almost identical outfit to that in which I saw him perform in all those years ago. As he appeared on the stage my friend turned to me and said ‘He’s just a normal guy isn’t he?’ which I think sums up Ed, perfectly.
His personality also shone through throughout the concert as he conversed with the audience . It was almost as if Ed was talking to ‘friends’ rather than ‘fans’ and I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to be Ed’s friend (if anyone says they don’t then they’re lying!). If you listen to the lyrics in ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ to ‘Eraser’ you can see how Ed’s situation has changed since he first released music. However , as everyone in the music industry has said, Ed hasn’t let fame to get to his head. After his four nights at Wembley, Ed posted a picture on Instagram of fiancée Cherry and himself enjoying a beer or two captioned: ‘Chilling out after the fourth Wembley with two beers and a keeper.’
Ed’s song selection for the tour was also perfect (excuse the pun). Let’s face it, Ed could have played any songs from any of his albums and the crowd would have been happy. However it was kind of a no brainer that most of the songs played by Ed were his most popular. It was great to hear some of his hits from all his albums such as ‘The A Team’, Thinking out Loud’ and ‘Photograph’ as well as top charting tunes from Divide like ‘Galway Girl ’ and ‘Shape of You’.
What was great though, was that Ed doesn’t simply play his songs as they appear on his albums so it’s not just like you’re listening to his records in a live version. He takes full advantage of the loop pedal which he has been renowned for using which creates an amazing layered effect to his live performances. One of my favourite songs of the night was when he mixed ‘Don’t’ from his ‘Multiply’ with ‘Eraser’ from ‘Divide’.
Ed also, obviously didn’t use exactly the same set up for all of his Wembley shows, providing something different for each of the audiences. Whist, on the opening night at Wembley I was treated to a duet of ‘Perfect’ sung by Ed and special quest Andrea Bocelli, the following night Ed performed with Stormzy.
Overall, I may be extremely biased but I see Ed as a music icon of this generation and his music, will no doubt go down in history (he’s already on the list of best-selling albums in UK history twice with Multiply and Divide). He’s managed to get himself in this position not through luck, but as this gig shows, his talent, energy, personality and dedication to his fans.
Did you see Ed Sheeran?
Text: Chaz Pond
Images: Ed Sheeran Instagram (Teddysphotos), Chaz Pond.