Last night, I had the chance to see Ed Sheeran perform. I've been a fan of Sheeran's since my mom started playing his first album around the house before he really cracked the radio. My mom isn't on the cutting edge of music, but she had the right feeling about Ed, and we've been waiting to see a show since.
I've watched the movie on Apple Music, and I know the albums backwards and forwards, so needless to say, I had high expectations. They were all met. He took the stage with a smile and explained his loop pedal and how he is able to achieve all of the layering in his songs completely live, completely alone. His stage is tiny, yet made for the way he moves around it. It's unbelievable that one man can entertain a stadium full of people as well as a massive artist with three backup singers and a squad of dancers. His vocals and instrumentals were on point, and he exploded with life as he flew around the stage jumping up and down the layers of his stage.
While I enjoyed the music, my favorite parts were when he talked to the audience. In genuine moments, he proved just how grounded and human he still is. Not to mention, he's hilarious. Ed mentioned the importance of dancing and singing along, even if you think you're an awkward dancer or tone deaf. As he said, "Your job is to be tone deaf."
He also talked about the 2% of the audience who wasn't quite as into it as the rest of us. The boyfriends taking their girlfriends, and the "super dads" who take their kids to experience concerts despite the traffic, crowds, and a general lack of interest in the music. He talked about his own super dad who always encouraged and supported him and thanked those in the audience who had come for those they loved.
That led to a reminder that Ed is living out a dream he's had since he was twelve. Even standing in the audience, looking around at the crowd, all there for the one man on the stage, it felt validating. It was proof that childhood dreams can and will come true with enough effort and willpower. Like Ed said as he started playing "A Team," it starts with playing a gig with two people who aren't listening to you. I don't sing and I'll never play stadiums, but his words are true of all creativity. You just have to be one of the few who don't give up.