In 2011 I got to see a young man without any tattoos playing the Kaufleuten Festsaal for the DRS3 showcase. I knew every song of his newest record “+” and stood in the front row and he won over the whole crowd. Fast forward 7 years that young man is full of tattoos and goes by the name of Ed Sheeran and turned out to be the biggest popstar of our time selling out stadiums around the world just like he had the last two nights in Zurich with the Letzigrund Stadium.
Jamie Lawson was unexpected
Jamie Lawson is signed up to Ed Sheeran’s record label so he got to be the first opening act of the night. Starting out is hard especially in front of people who didn’t come to see you! So I have so much respect for Jamie Lawson. With “Fall Into Me”, “Letter Never Sent”, “The Only Conclusion”, “Can’t See Straight” and “A little Mercy” he started his 30mins set. He’s such a lovely and funny guy and I really love his mellow songs especially “Wasn’t expecting that”. I bet a few people recognized this song when he started playing it. He did a fine job warming up the crowd and during his last song “Ahead of Myself” the crowd helped him out by singing “Badam Badam Badadada”. Love it!
Rocking out to Anne-Marie
Exactly 30mins later Anne-Marie took the stage with “Ciao Adios” and both nights I was ready to dance! 😀 “Do it Right and “Alarm” followed. Her next song is called “Perfect” and she sings about the things that aren’t perfect. So Anne-Marie said if you recognize yourself in those lyrics give a little wooo 😀 Before she got the crowd involved she sang “2002” and for “Trigger” she managed to get everyone lift up their trigger fingers in the air and sing along. Night 1 seemed like she had more fans in the crowd so it was a bit tricky for her on Night 2. In “Bad Girlfriend” she talks about all her bad relationships and who couldn’t relate to that? 😉
You might not know it but I am a huge Rudimental fan so when she said that her next song is a collabo with him AND Major Lazor I was all ears and up on my feet! You can properly hear their influence on “Let Me Live”! Perfect for the summer 🙂 Her biggest hit with Clean Bandit “Rockabye” had to be played and Anne-Marie rocked the stage! The last song of her 45min set was “F R I E N D S” which is currently playing on the radio. Both nights the supporting acts went by so quickly. I guess it’s because I just love both of them and I was just as excited to see them as to see Ed Sheeran.
And finally… Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran must be Swiss. Last year at the Hallenstadion he started early and this year on both nights he was on the earlier side too. So at 8.40 the screens showed Ed walking towards the stage and the roar of the crowd was huge. People were really excited to see him. Mind you this was the start of the show. This one guy walking on stage – just like that – and he starts to build up the rhythm of his first song. No big introduction nothing. It seemed like he was just walking up a little stage of a pub but no it was a huge one in front of 48’000 people on 2 nights!
Normally you gotta wait a few songs to get the first big hit of the artist but what if this artist only has hits to play?! Ed Sheeran started with “Castle on the Hill” and with that he already got the crowd singing and clapping! The first song on his newest record Divide is “Eraser” which came next but before that Ed had to explain that everything we will hear tonight is “completely live” and comes out of this guitar and this loop station. It’s a shame that he has to explain this…
His first ever track “The A-Team” he got to play at Energy Stars for free and it was the first time he played in front of so many people. That’s why he’s so fond of Switzerland… or maybe because James Blunt takes him “skiing” in Verbier 😉 But anyway it’s so cute that he even remembers this gig – apparently he didn’t even have a dressing room because he only played that one song. This just shows again how you got to see a normal guy transform into this superstar in front of your own eyes. He could have changed but to me he hasn’t changed one bit – the crowds just got bigger.
So it was time to set some ground rules. Ed Sheeran has been to gigs and he was always hesitant to sing or dance because he thought people were watching him. He’s got news for us they don’t. They are looking at the stage and he must know 😀 In addition to that he said that there is no “Can’t sing”, everyone can – even if it’s out of tune. It doesn’t matter because it’s his job to sing in tune not ours! So in summary what he needs from us:
Lots of dancing and lots of out of tune singing! Can you manage that?
Of course we could! 🙂 Because we were his backing singers and dancers! 96’000 people singing and dancing – not bad 😀
An early highlight came when he mixed “Don’t” and “New Man” together. The latter is a treasure on the record and I sing it loudly every time it comes on haha. On Night 2 the crowd already took their phone lights out for “Dive”. It looked incredible to me, imagine now how it must look from Ed’s perspective! So we were now 30 mins into the gig and according to Ed Sheeran 98% of the crowd was enjoying themselves. But he wants to get those 2% involved too. So the first type are the boyfriends who don’t really want to be here and they don’t really like Ed’s music and why was he in Game of Thrones? But they came because they love their girlfriends. And the other type on Friday Night there was one in the 2nd row are the Super Dads. Ed Sheeran recognizes them because his dad took him to gigs too. They take their kids to gigs, traffic is bad, beer is overpriced and of course they can’t beat the traffic because the kids need to listen to the encore. It was a hilarious story and lots of people were laughing so Ed asked now:
I want those 100%. So Super Dads and boyfriends are you with me?
A deep cheer followed and Ed Sheeran got his 100% 😀
Next up was a collabo with Rudimental! “Bloodstream” was another highlight for me and I always go “mental” to this song haha So on Night 1 I just enjoyed it whereas Night 2 I took a few stories which didn’t stop me tho from going crazy! 😀 Time to slow it down with “Happier” and Ed Sheeran told us to get our light phones out again. An incredible sea of lights was swaying from side to side. It looked AMAZING! On Night 1 he said that Germans and Swiss people were good at listening to quiet songs (I wasn’t so sure) so he played a beautiful ballade called “Tenerife Sea” from his 2nd record “x”. He got proven wrong because all I could hear was constant chatting from all over the stadium. I guess he must have heard it too because on Night 2 he didn’t play it anymore.
The stage with a huge LED tree turned green and you know what that means! Time to be IRISH! The first beats of “Galway Girl” resonated through the stadium and on Saturday Night they were greeted with a loud cheer. You guys know I love Irish Music so I was up and jumping and loving every second of the song. Last year “Nancy Mulligan” came right after but this year it didn’t. I was slightly worried that he wouldn’t play it.
Ed Sheeran surprised me when he covered “Feelin’ Good” which will always remind me of Michael Bublé – another great Entertainer. But of course Ed wouldn’t be Ed if he didn’t mix it up with one of his own songs “I See Fire”. I love Ed Sheeran’s song mixer – each time they are a surprise and just so perfect 😀
If you don’t know the lyrics to the next song you are at the wrong concert
That’s how Ed Sheeran introduced “Thinking out loud” 😀 And yes it seemed like everyone knew the lyrics. It gave me goosebumps. The last mixer of the night with “One” and “Photograph”. We were in the middle of the slower part of the set which ended with his love song “Perfect” to his fiancée Cherry. Another sea of lights and a big singalong gave me some more goosebumps. And then Ed Sheeran made me really happy 🙂 The stage turned green again and of course he had to play “Nancy Mulligan”! I was singing as loudly as I could and danced or jumped and tried to make it look like I was Irish dancing haha Some people in the crowd even locked elbows and were jumping around in circles. Great fun and yes another highlight for me.
With the “Ohhhh Ohhh Ohh’s” of “Sing” Ed Sheeran went off the stage only to come back a few mins later to sing the 2 encore songs. But Ed wouldn’t be Ed if he didn’t have a surprise for us. He wore a Swiss Football Jersey with the No. 3 and Ed Sheeran on the back (Only on Night 1). This was greeted by loud cheer and the first three chords of His Uber Mega Hit “Shape of you” were enough to get the 100% dancing. I love the song and so does everyone else it seemed. He turned the stadium into a club. As always he finished the set with his longest song “You need Me, I don’t need you”. This song is the loudest and most intense song in his set which he always said he was building up to that. The poor guitar got beaten up pretty badly and Ed Sheeran started rapping and at the same time he was waving a Swiss flag. One of the many people I knew who went to the gigs said it was EDmazing and that word stuck with me.
The 2 Ed Sheeran gigs, with him and his guitar were just EDmazing!
Were you at the gigs? Share your experience in the comments below 🙂
Check out my latest gigs: Bryan Adams, Saint City Orchestra, Tyler Hilton & Kate Voegele