Tonight, I had the pleasure of seeing Ed Sheeran in concert at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly. He was brilliant. The concert mainly consisted of songs from his new record “X”, with the encore including a few old classics such as “The A Team” and “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You”.
Sheeran was at the top of his game, his vocals not only as good as his recordings, but better. The fact that he is only twenty four years old is easily forgotten. He moves around the stage with an energy and confidence that rivals some of the veterans in the industry. Showcasing his range and falsetto, he belts out each chorus, never missing a beat. Even more impressive is his ability to rap and actually be understood. With the help of a loop pedal, Sheeran delivered with just his voice and guitar, something of a rarity nowadays.
What made each performance was the slight nuance of each tune, altered ever so slightly by the leading man. A high note instead of a chest note or vice versa, a lyric slowed down or sped up with ease. Sheeran engaged the crowd, encouraging them to sing at the top of their lungs for every song but one.
Later in the evening, he spoke about one of his favorite songs on the new record “Afire Love”, and how it was kind of a quiet track so a little quiet would do it some good. The audience obliged. I was blown away by the raw grit, soul, and pain in his voice. We all got lost in the narrative, and I wish that Sheeran had told them to be quiet through more of the songs, so his voice could be heard that much more.
What appeared to be the end of the concert concluded with the song he wrote for The Hobbit, “I See Fire”.
Minutes later, Sheeran came back and gave an encore consisting of three songs, “The A Team”, “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You”, and “Sing”.
Overall, it was a night to remember. I wish he had performed even longer.
The formal setlist can be found here
If any of you missed it, please check out our review of “X”, which can be found here
Below, I have included a video I recorded of Ed singing “Afire Love”. I hope you enjoy this performance as much as I did.
Bio: Annabelle Edwards is a young writer and photographer living in New York. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gone Lawn, Eunoia Review, Crack The Spine, and elsewhere. She is the co-editor of Control Literary Magazine.