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Released worldwide on June 23, 2014, “Multiply” by Ed Sheeran became a sensational chart topper. This album that went on to become #1 on the Billboard 200 sold 210,000 copies in that first week.
One of Sheeran’s best shows took place in Dublin, Ireland in May, 2014 on his UK and Ireland “Multiply” tour. He nonchalantly walked onto the stage, grinning before his audience. Before the musician even started making music, the crowd roared. People from all over the world, gathered in one arena, awaited the singer who effortlessly makes live singing sound the way it should.
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Sheeran plugged his guitar into his amp and immediately began strumming a catchy beat with the help of his recognizable loop pedal, a machine that allows a musician to play a note or tune and have it loop while continuing to sing or play over it. Sheeran’s usage of this device and his ability to build melodies off of each other with his loop pedal easily sets him apart from the other musicians.
The first song of Sheeran’s concert was “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,”which set a powerful tone for the show. While watching, my eyes were gluedto his performance and how he was able to captivate the entire audience by doing just what it seemed like he would casually do in his own bedroom – get lost in his music. As a singer and musician, I understand exactly what it feels like to get completely lost in music, and while I watched Sheeran do this on stage, I felt like I was feeling the exact same emotions as he was while he sang and pounded on his guitar.
Sheeran’s interaction with his audience also captivated my attention. His ability to use his loop pedal, sing, play guitar, and talk to us made for a seriously good show. After roughly ten minutes, he finally concluded his opening number and then had the audience even more riled up for the remainder of his show. Screams and a great amplitude of clapping whirled around the arena, electric with energy, and got Sheeran fired up for the following songs in his show. His use of props, such as the Irish flag also contributed to his performance and relationship with his audience.
“I’m going to play until I pass out, probably,” said Sheeran as he chugged his water and beamed at the crowd. This was a great attitude to have because he showed his audience that he was extremely dedicated to them and his performance. He also had said that it was his “job to entertain them.” The rest of his songs masterfully matched the high bar he had set with his first number, and as the concert progressed, I forgot all of my troubles and was completely and utterly lost in the music.
In his lineup of songs, Sheeran varied the tempo and style so that just as the crowd started to relax with a slow song or two, they would be back on their feet, jumping along to an upbeat tune. This was an intelligent way to keep the crowd on their toes – literally.
Sheeran also encouraged us to sing along with him throughout the concert. He even told us that if we were embarrassed to sing a certain line of his song, we should sing it anyway because it was “just a concert.” He encouraged everyone to forget things that made us uneasy and to just lose ourselves in his music for the night. This was a great way to get us feeling even more connected to him, as well as sharing some of his own feelings about getting lost in his music.
Included in his concert as well was lots of improvisation, or so it seemed, in between his songs, in an attempt to catch his breath and cool down. These little melodies he created were so skillfully crafted that I wished they were actually included in his songs.
Sheeran ended his concert with his hit, “Sing.” As the crowd calmed down at the end of the song, he thanked them and then began a reprise of it after he asked them to sing along with him. If I closed my eyes, he didn’t even sound tired, and this was about two hours since the start of his show. This amazed me, especially because he still sounded better live than most artists do at the beginning of their concerts. As the crowd sang and clapped, the lights slowly dimmed and the show had finally concluded.
“This… is how live singing should sound,” I thought to myself.
Ashley Venezia has been singing since she was three years old and began writing her own songs at age ten. She sang in her school's choir from elementary school throughout high school, as well as performed in two musicals. Aside from singing, she taught herself the basics of playing piano and is beginning to learn the guitar and ukulele. Photography, writing, and creating short videos also play a very big part in her life.