Saturday, September 12 brought not only an awesome win for Georgia Tech (65-10 against Tulane) but it also marked the arrival of the long awaited Ed Sheeran’s “X” Tour.
Sheeran’s summer tour is already proving to be a phenomenal success with most dates selling out in a matter of minutes, including Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, Newark’s Prudential Center, and back-to-back nights at the iconic Hollywood Bowl. The North American dates – which also include top billing at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Rock in Rio USA in Las Vegas, and Summerfest in Milwaukee – are part of his worldwide tour which culminates with three sold out nights at London’s Wembley Stadium.
The festivities began with 2 openers: Jamie Lawson and Christina Perri. Lawson won over the massive crowd (who started filing in at an early 7:30pm) with his smooth sound and amazing talent on acoustic guitar. If you look him up you may not find an overwhelming amount of information on him but his music and presence were solid. Solid enough that he won over the crowd and had them sing along to his music. His most notable track “I Wasn’t Expecting That” which people would recognize from Disney’s “Up.” Another popular track he performed was “Ahead of Myself” which turned out great, as he had the crowd add an ad-lib at every break in the chorus.
The next act was Christina Perri, a young and quirky act with the look of Nicole Scherzinger and the voice of a high school freshman. Perri is a singer-songwriter from Pennsylvania who’s first claim-to-fame was “Jar of Hearts” which was heard on So You Think You Can Dance in 2010. When she came out on stage it was clear she was more of a familiar name to the raucous crowd of young people. That’s probably because of her highly popular track “A Thousand Years” which was featured in the blockbuster Twilight series, Twilight: Breaking Dawn. She arrived on stage with the support of her band and kicked-off her set with “Distance.” She then performed tracks “Burning Gold” “Jar of Hearts” “A Thousand Years” and ended her set with “Human.” When she sang “A Thousand Years” the arena exploded with cheers and just as quick, fell silent so they could sing along. The lights dropped and everyone was waving their phones with their flash on.
With the crowd now fully amped thanks to the youthful exuberance of Christina Perri, it was time for headliner Ed Sheeran to make his appearance. About 30 minutes after Perri left, Ed Sheeran comes on-stage to an explosion of screams, laughter, and tears of joy. The scraggly-faced ginger appeared by himself with just an acoustic guitar and a grey Atlanta Hawks t-shirt. With gigantic viewing screens to his sides, he was shown in various filters and lights and even had emoticons flash on screen and some were in the form of LEGOS.
He kicked-off things with his widely popular “Lego House.” His love of LEGOS is serious. I recently reviewed a film titled “A LEGO Brickumentary” and he was featured in the documentary as an avid LEGO lover. The crowd sang along to just about everything he performed, he could do no wrong. He also noted that he’d be alone on stage due to complaints at a previous performance. People said they couldn’t see him, so he was on-stage, alone, with a guitar and a loop machine at his feet. So he controlled literally every aspect of his performance on his own. Another popular track was “Take It Back” which he rapped for 5 solid minutes and the crowd went bananas. Oh and then Usher made an appearance, I guess we should note that too (cue sarcasm).
Unfortunately, if you missed it, you missed an incredible show. It’s rare you can say an entire show was pleasing to an audience, but all 3 acts were truly enjoyable. Sheeran definitely picked the right openers to accompany him on his tour. Not only 2 artists that he’s collaborated with but artists who fit his mold of strong, acoustic, melodious tunes. The crowd was pleased, I was pleased, and I’m catering to the majority here, the ladies were pleased.