Opening with Beatle–like screams, the demographic for tonight’s gig was generally towards the younger age, which is no surprise as Ed Sheeran himself is 20 years old himself, and for that age his musicality is very impressive.
Ed Sheeran’s blend of acoustic melody, hip hop beat boxing and rapping has led him to gain a large following throughout the UK and tonight’s gig was unsurprisingly sold out to committed fans, avid chart listeners and those who appreciate true musical technicality and talent.
I fall into the latter demographic and went to Rock City simply to be impressed by Ed Sheeran, which I definitely was. His set of 2 hours included Ed Sheeran manipulating his loop pedal to the absolute maximum. At times you could close your eyes and imagine there was a full band playing up there, but as soon as you looked back onto the stage it suddenly felt intimate again, regardless of the teenage screams.
With fans screaming “WE WANT ED, WE WANT ED!” at the top of their voices prior to Ed Sheeran taking the stage, it was clear he would have them in the palm of his hands tonight and you could tell throughout that Ed Sheeran relished in this, telling stories throughout his performance about his rise to popularity and musical success. At one point he reminisced about a gig he played in Nottingham prior to becoming a household name: “I played here a few years back, there were about 5 members in the crowd which left half way through because a Drum & Bass night opened up upstairs. How times have changed!”
It is hard not to side with Ed Sheeran, his confidence for such a young age shone through his set and his likeability extends when you think about the current state of popular music today dominated by the X Factor view that to be a successful musician it’s more important to look good, than sound good. Ed Sheeran appears to be just your average 20 year old who has gifted musical ability.
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The highlight of the set was Ed Sheerans cover of the old spiritual blues song ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ that featured apache-like crooning and impressive use of his loop pedal. His single ‘The A-Team’ featured a guest appearance by rapper Mikill Pane that went down like a storm with the crowd and his encore performance of single ‘You need me, I don’t need you’ gave the perfect end to a long yet impressive set.
Ed Sheerans performance tended to peak at times only to slow down and by the end of the gig it was clear that a large majority of the crowd where ready to leave, however in no way do I doubt that the members of the public who witnessed Ed Sheerans performance tonight left with a lasting impression and further appreciation of his music. Ed Sheeran is clearly a boy of many talents.