Ginger Ed Sheeran sold out his show of the Multiply Tour last Monday at Sant Jordi Club, which was full of screaming teens who couldn’t resist the unintendedly sweet presence that the ‘A-Team’ singer has on stage. After almost three hours queuing we made it to the venue, leaving outside tens of teens crying inconsolably when they realized that they were not allowed in for not being accompanied by either one of their parents or their legal tutor (organizers, didn’t you make it clear?!). Poor little ladies!
I must confess I didn’t expect such young audience (how naive of me!). Ed Sheeran, 23 (only 23), was first noticed by Sir Elton John and Jamie Foxx, which gave him the chance to become what he’s now: a young guy who is sacrificing part of his personal life for the success he’s enjoying at present (hey, he’s just sold out three Wembleys!) ’cause he’s now “supposed to chart and celebrate / But good things are over fast”. And we all know the music industry works like this, so he’s chosen to “turn you [his girlfriends] off and switch on my [his] professional features” (‘The Man’ in Ed’s + Plus).
His lyrics in + Plus revisit mostly those personal experiences you would expect from a regular British guy you could find at any metro station busking his songs, with recurrent themes such as getting drunk, getting his heart broken and what not, with three remarkable exceptions, ‘Lego House’, ‘Small Bump’ and ‘The A-Team’, which earned him a Grammy nomination. However, in just three years, after the release of his first album ‘+’, this guy “you don’t want to see shirtless” (thank you, Ed, I like you better as Annie!) has gone from re-writing the typical ”just how beautiful you are” to writing true gems on his second album, X Multiply, the one he’s touring now, and for other artists, like One Direction and Taylor Swift (hence the average age of the audience, Mar!). X is a delicate album, overflowing sensitivity and emotions – the same sensitivity and emotions you find on stage (‘I See Fire’, ‘One’, ‘Tenerife Sea’, ‘Bloodstream’, ‘Photograph’ – together with rap combos (‘Don’t’) and R&B rhythms (‘Sing’, ‘Nina’) that depart from themost folk-rocky Ed to let him release his energy at the most precise moments. And that’s because there was no dull moment in a concert in which we could also, obviously, drool at ‘Thinking Out Loud’ while recalling one of the sweetest, most romantic (and some will say cheesiest) music clips the human kind has ever seen on screen.
This red-haired guy has a surprisingly resistant (being a smoker!) and orotund rapper voice which sounds sweet and soft in the ballads and slow tunes in his catalog. He only needs himself, a guitar to play and tap, a looper and some base rhythms to keep his audience amused and awed for almost two hours. He knows how to address the punters, how to make them even keep quiet (ah, teens!) and how to fill in a whole stage only adorned with some lights and with six screens on the background, showing mostly videos made for the occasion. He blends his own songs and introduces some bits from others (BSB’s “Everybody” – Hello!?) where you wouldn’t expect it. He’s the boss at home – the stage he’s on – and as many bosses, he leaves when you expect it the least. Duh! He’s not one to like the fanfare and the extravagance of the music biz, but he’ll probably have to offer something more when hitting bigger venues, or more mature audiences. No doubt he can do so, though.
Ed Sheeran is that guy who’s now enjoying his luck as much as he can, pleasing as many fans as he comes across (thank you, Gemma, for keeping me up to date with all his kind gestures, making the ‘four cities, three planes the same day’ come true to meet a little lady on a TV program or even getting engaged with a terminal girl), while having fun and keeping his feet on the ground (or so it seems). And if at the same time he makes those teens go to the merch stall and, without realizing, order an item in English (I saw it with my own eyes!), I say Ed, keep on doing what you are doing the way you’re doing it, as you’re doing it right. Yeah!