On August 27th, I had the privilege of attending Ed Sheeran’s incredible “Multiply” concert at the Staples Center in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. Eighteen thousand of my fellow “Sheerios” (dedicated Ed Sheeran fans) surrounded me as we sang along to his songs, both new and old – and I, at least, sang until my voice was gone. His set list was impeccably planned, manipulating the crowd to dance wildly to the fast songs and wave their iPhone lights to the slow songs. Oh, and did I mention that this ginger-haired Brit can rap like there’s no tomorrow?
Ed Sheeran’s career started when he got signed to Asylum Records in 2011. With his hit song “The A-Team” and his iconic ginger hair, Sheeran became a British sensation. He has channeled his rough early life into his music. Sheeran has admitted that he began to abuse alcohol from a young age, and music, he says, was the thing that pulled him out.
He is now an incredible role model for young adults trying to find their way, and that’s why I am one of his many fans.
This was the second Sheeran concert I have attended; it was interesting to see how much he has changed. Listening to both his albums back to back gave me the feeling that he has grown as an artist. Even Sheeran’s appearance when he walked on stage proved this. With new songs, and a little more facial hair, he has evolved into a more mature version of his old self – but as he continues to grow, he has stayed true to himself and his music. Unlike a lot of artists, Sheeran makes sure that he – not his management team or his label – is in control of his music.
The best aspect, by far, of Sheeran’s concerts is the way he plays. If you’re not familiar with his music, let me give you the lowdown. There are no dancers, sets, other musicians, or even drums. It’s just Sheeran, standing in a single spotlight, making all of the music himself. He does everything, and I mean everything, with his Baby Martin LX1E guitar and a loop station. Sheeran is literally a one-man band. As he sings, he strums the strings and pounds the body of his guitar, providing all of the ingredients. If you closed your eyes and just listened, you wouldn’t guess he was the only musician on stage. This is what makes his concerts so unique and entertaining. He’s a prime example of “less is more.”
Sheeran’s lyrics are what fans fall for. He is a singing poet; his writing is unbelievable. Words that would make me tongue-tied are effortlessly spoken in his deep yet angelic voice. His lyrics are like a story filled with imagery, personification, and endless metaphors. When Sheeran sings to his audience, he makes sure that we have his attention and, in return, makes his performance intimate and bonding. He does not put a wall between himself and his audience; both he and his music are vulnerable.
I know that I should include some criticism of this concert, but I can’t name one. Ed Sheeran is someone I look up to as a fellow musician. Watching him perform is a huge learning experience for me. At the end of the concert, I found myself singing along with all his fans as Sheeran made his exit.
If you ever have the chance to see Ed Sheeran live, I have only one thing to say: take me with you!