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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Ed Sheeran at Merriweather Post Pavillion

Decked out in my bright yellow rain poncho and mud-covered, $5 flip-flops, I anxiously waited for Ed Sheeran to take the stage at Merriweather Post Pavilion last Saturday night, September 6th. Currently, Sheeran is on tour promoting his sophomore album, “X” (pronounced “multiply”) and I was lucky enough to be able to go to his concert.

However, as rain poured down relentlessly and thunder shook the entire lawn section of Merriweather, I was convinced I’d have to see him another time, as he surely wouldn’t be able to take the stage in a monsoon. Then, as the rain began to let up and the strikes of lightning grew farther and farther apart, Rudimental, the opening act, took the stage. Hope was restored in all of the concertgoers, including myself, as we scrambled back to seats or the soggy, muddy lawn.


Ed Sheeran ( / MyCanon)

Then, after what seemed like forever, the lights went black and screams from preteen girls and adults alike rang out. As the lights turned back on, Sheeran burst onto the stage. Lightning still lighting up the sky in the distance, he broke into his first song of the evening, “I’m A Mess,” setting the mood for the entire concert experience. With lyrics like “See the flames inside my eyes/It burns so bright I wanna feel your love,” “I’m A Mess” set up the audience for the emotional rollercoaster of the concert. The album “X” has songs for the heartbroken, the lonely, the lovesick, and the defiant. Sheeran included this range of songs in his set list. And just like that, the mud and rain faded into the background as Sheeran slammed on his guitar and took us on his own personal emotional, musical journey.

After “I’m A Mess,” Sheeran broke into his classic “Lego House” from his debut album, a nod to long-time fans. Every person in the crowd screamed the lyrics. Without even a pause, Sheeran burst into his new standout single from “X,” “Don’t.” A song for anyone who has ever been in an are-we-or-aren’t-we relationship, “Don’t” is not only relatable, but extremely catchy. Everyone danced and sang along as Sheeran bared his heartbreak (rumored to be about Ellie Goulding.) At the end of the song, he suddenly burst into a mash-up of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” as the crowd went wild. He also threw in a few rounds of “these girls ain’t loyal,” a nod to Chris Brown’s hit “Loyal.” This all worked to make “Don’t” especially incredible live.

With seemingly endless energy, Sheeran went from song to song without hesitation. “Drunk,” another classic from his first full-length, “+,” was met with a buzz from the lonely in the crowd. Then, Ed showed off his seriously impressive rapping skills with new track “Take It Back,” jumping around the stage and inciting singing along from the concertgoers.

After the incredible, energetic start to his concert, Sheeran slowed things down with his acoustic ballad “One.” With lyrics like “Just promise me, you’ll always be a friend/’Cause you are the only one,” “One” reveals itself to be about a love that isn’t going to happen, no matter how much you want it to.

Sheeran continued the theme of loneliness with “Bloodstream,” an admission to using alcohol to deal with a broken heart. Sheeran continued with another acoustic standout from “X,” “Tenerife Sea.” A bit more hopeful, Sheeran belted out “’Cause all that you are is all that I’ll ever need/I’m so in love, so in love.” I heard a girl next to me ask her friend, “Why can’t my boyfriend say these things to me?” This question, I think, sums up why people are so taken with Sheeran. His willingness to bare his soul and be vulnerable is what makes him so popular.

Doing just that, Sheeran sang “Runaway” next. The pop song reveals “I love him from the skin to my bones/But I don’t wanna live in his home,” divulging Sheeran’s problems with his own father, a struggle many concertgoers likely understood as they sang along passionately.

Sheeran finally paused for a few moments. Addressing the crowd, he asked for only this next song to please not sing along, to simply be there fully and listen. Then, Sheeran began his heart-wrenching acoustic version of “Afire Love.” Everything was silent and still as Sheeran emotionally sang about his grandfather, who we can guess from the lyrics suffered from Alzheimer’s. I blinked back tears, as the pain was evident in his voice. It was one of the most incredible moments I’ve ever experienced at a concert. When he finished, the crowd cheered, implicitly saying: We’re here with you, we know pain too, let’s be together in this if only for a moment.

From there, Sheeran stuck to his usual theme of love, singing his beautiful new track “Thinking Out Loud” and his classic “Give Me Love.” Then, Sheeran announced that this would be his last song: “I See Fire.” Singing “And if we should die tonight/Then we should all die together,” reasserting the idea that we were all together that night with our pain and our love and emotions, if only for the few hours of the concert. As he left the stage, there was a roar from the crowd. We simply hadn’t had enough—not yet.

As the lights shone bright again, the crowd screamed as Sheeran burst back onstage and broke into “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.” He energetically and defiantly rapped as he jumped around the stage, causing the crowd to go insane. Then, as he took a breath and things quieted down, he began “The A Team,” his first hit radio single, as everyone in the crowd sang along, not missing a single lyric.

Our singing along created a uniform buzz, and we truly were one in that moment. As Sheeran began singing his new hit single, “Sing,” he instructed the crowd to sing along to the chorus’ catchy “oh’s.” Everyone danced and sang along loudly, and Sheeran demanded we keep singing, even on our way home, when we’re going to bed, the next day… to never stop singing.

And we won’t.

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Ed Sheeran at Merriweather Post Pavillion