The North East Metro line was the place to be on the afternoon of the 3rd of June, thanks to Nexus’s special Ed Sheeran ticket. I never thought public transport would be the destination for an epic pregamer, but the carriage was thick with people buzzing about the gig, singing their favourite Ed hits and having one too many tinnies.
I was just about as excited for support act Maisie Peters’ performance as I was for our heavily acclaimed headliner. She’s one of my favourite up-and-coming pop artists and, despite being a fresh face, she made commanding a stadium stage look easy. Flying through favourites such as radio earworm “Psycho” and TikTok hit “Cate’s Brother”, I imagine her charisma and goofy dance moves won her lots of new fans.
The crowd was like a shaken up bottle of pop as they waited for Ed - there was a huge, stadium-wide Mexican wave that looped around far too many times - and the energy fizzed over until the moment he stepped off the stage. I know everyone goes on about his live performances, but God is he good. You can’t quite believe the power that one man and his guitar can hold over a packed stadium. What stole the show for me was his famous loop pedal - his immaculate way of layering live recordings creates a harmonic, textured sound that I thought was only possible in the studio.
Combining fresh music with songs everyone knew the words to, and turning the crowd into a starry sky of phone torches one minute, then into a dance floor the next, the set-list miraculously managed to cover all ground laid down by his host of chart-topping albums. I honestly can’t think of a song I wish he’d played. In the past, Ed had been very insistent on keeping his shows as stripped back as possible, but the addition of a band for a couple of songs, special effects, fireworks and giant guitar picks hanging from the sky turned the concert.