"Hello, my name is Ed Sheeran. For the next two hours, my job is to entertain you and your job is to be entertained."
It was in autumn of 2012 when I first heard about the lyrical genius that is Ed Sheeran. During that time, Lego House was his most popular song, but it was Give Me Love that left a huge imprint on my mind. I remember listening solely to his Plus album on my 4-hour flight to the Philippines later that year. At that point, I have known his music for only a couple of months, but it was long enough to know plenty about him and his history. Long enough to be moved by his music.
Before tonight, all I could ever do to be close to Ed was to listen to his music, google his interviews, and watch live videos. You could only imagine how weird of a feeling it was for me to see him walk out on stage and stand less than 10 meters away from where I was. Those past two years of following his music and suddenly he's right there, standing gracefully in front of me. Everything was just very surreal at that moment.
Regardless of whether you love or hate Ed Sheeran, we all can't deny the fact that he is a music sensation. From Irish folk ballads to mind-blowing pop-rap, his music transcends almost any demographic. He uses a looper pedal to create powerful backdrops far beyond the scope of the traditional acoustic soloist. It's amazing how a one-man show could sound like he had an entire band with him on stage. He is also one who firmly believes in audience participation and does all he can to get it. And at the same time, he's also able to silence a stadium full of people for his quieter tunes such as One and Tenerife Sea.
You can only get so much from listening to his studio albums. I've been religiously listening to Plus and his even older stuff since the day I knew about them, and I can guarantee that they do no justice to seeing him live. There's a sense of rawness and a crazy amount of talent that you can witness when he performs in person. This ginger Jesus is a godsend.
Truth be told, I've never been to a concert before tonight. Needless to say that I am honoured to have Ed Sheeran as the first artist I saw live. I can't think of anyone else who is as passionate and emotionally involved to one's music as he is. He made the concert feel very intimate even though there were a lot of screaming and pushing. I got so much into the mood that it didn't bother me at all. Just a few hours before the concert, I was reminded by my friend over in New Zealand to "remember to put the camera down and get lost in the music for some of it". And I did. With a smile on my face, the show ended with everyone singing along to Sing. It's definitely a night to remember.