Soundbites Live: Amazed by Ed
People often talk about hitting a “glass ceiling.” For singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran, he thought he had hit what he called his “glass ceiling” when he was playing for crowds of 200 people. But on Friday, Nov. 1, he played his second of three sold out shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY.
What makes Sheeran’s shows different from other artists, is the fact that he can take an arena as big as MSG, and make it feel as if he’s still performing for a crowd of 200 people. He took the stage with just his guitar and a loop pedal and spoke to the crowd of thousands as if they were all his closest friends.
Sheeran opened with his most classic songs “Give Me Love,” “Drunk,” and “U.N.I.” which had the audience up, dancing and singing along. But then he took a step back and slowed things down. He asked that the audience stay completely silent, and in an arena with more than 18,000 seats, he made it so quiet you could hear a pin drop.
He then pulled back from the microphone and performed his songs “Small Bump” and “Kiss Me.” He explained that “Kiss Me” was about falling in love with your best friend, and thus he dedicated it to his friend who had just gotten engaged. After leaving the audience swooning for more, he pulled his biggest surprise of the show. Taylor Swift, who Sheeran previously toured with on the “Red Tour,” made a guest appearance to sing “Everything Has Changed” with Sheeran. The two broke it down slow, and performed acoustic.
After the song was over, Swift hugged Sheeran, looked at the audience excitedly, and wished him the best. While many were disappointed Swift’s appearance was so brief, Sheeran had one more surprise. He performed a song off his newest album, which will be released in February. It was titled, what else, but “New York,” a slow song about falling in love in a taxi cab in New York City. “Tonight turns into morning, you’ll be in my arms/ and we’ll keep driving along the boulevard/ and if I kiss you darling please don’t be alarmed.”
Afterwards he performed what he said would be his last song of the show, “Lego House.” However, after leaving the stage he returned to perform what could have been the longest encore performance of all time.
He sang “You Need Me,” which is close to 15 minutes long and has more lyrics than almost anyone can remember. Just when many people thought the show was over, Sheeran surprised everyone by saying “I’ve got a couple more songs for you tonight.”
He performed “Gold Rush” and “The Parting Glass” which both inspired the audience to dance. Sheeran even got the audience harmonizing while he sang the melodies. He ended the show with “The A Team,” which is one of his biggest radio hits.
Now, Sheeran’s only question is, with no “glass ceiling,” just how far can he go?