As some of you probably guessed based on my last post, I went to a pretty monumental concert last night. Ever since I was 15 or 16, I’ve been a fan of Ed Sheeran and his music. He kinda reminds me of the great singer/songwriters from the 60s and 70s like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. Now before I get crucified by all the music elitists out there, what I mean by that is that his songs are very lyrically rich, like poetry set to music which is the same kinda feeling I get when I listen to a lot of older artists. The point is, I think he’s super talented and I’ve been trying to see him for literally YEARS. I’ve bought tickets to 3 different concerts to see him, but I ended up not being able to go every time. The semester I study abroad he was on tour in Europe so I was like oh perfect, I’ll definitely be able to catch somewhere on the entire freakin continent. NOPE. Every time we were able to go somewhere, he was either left right before we got there and came right after we left. No big deal though, because he has to come at Rome at some point during the four months we’re there right? Wrong. Bro literally played a show a week after we left. Unreal.
But after some last minute ticket buying at work, I finally had the chance to see him live last night. I’ve always heard that he puts on a good live show, but I was also a little skeptical about how one man on stage in front of a whole arena could do it. Of course though he absolutely killed it and I wish he could’ve played for 45830 more hours. Live shows in general are kinda the best too and I wish I could go to more of them. You know that part of the show where every artist says how you’re the best crowd they’ve been to so far? Obviously, they say this at every show but being there in the moment I still eat it up so hard. Being in a room with thousands of people singing along to the same song and coming together for something good is just not like anything else you can experience.
My favorite types of artists to see lives are the ones who just look like they’re having the best time on stage and are so happy to be there. The idea of being on tour for 6 months and playing in a different city makes me exhausted just thinking about it, so any artist/band who can get on that stage and look like they’re having a blast, like it’s the first live show they’ve ever played is someone that deeply impresses me. That was the energy Ed brought last night, he was literally smiling the whole time like a 5th grader in their school play and it was fantastic. At one point he decided to play a song that he’d only played live a couple times before because it was one of his favorites and the first time he played it was right after it came out so no one really knew it. As he was playing it and the whole crowd started singing along, his whole face lit up. That moment of realizing that this piece of art that you’ve worked so hard on as touched people in some way is the the moment that I dream about when I think about all the hopes I have as a writer.
I don’t know what it is about successful artists, but something about seeing them doing what they love makes me even more determined and excited for my future. Ever since Alicia Keys convinced me to follow my dreams in grad school (a story for a different blog post) my best moments of being totally confident in my choice to chase a career that I might never make it in are all in the presence of great musicians, whether that be professional performers or just people dedicated to their craft.
Last night, there was a young kid that Ed noticed in the front row who was singing along to every single word. He took a minute to talk to him and he reminded him that once upon a time he was a 12 year old kid singing in the front row, and that as long as you work as hard as you can there is nothing standing between you and your dreams. I kinda got chills when he said that, and the hard work aspect is something I definitely need to work on, hence this blog, but what a cool reminder to go after what you want and dare to live the kind of live you’ve only ever dreamed up.
And yes, for everyone who knows me I did cry last night, but only twice.