It is 00:18am as I’m writing this and I’m on my way home from what has undoubtedly been one of the best nights of my whole entire life. Pre-warning, this post is probably going to consist of me rambling on and being slightly melodramatic about the amazing concert I have just been to tonight.
As I’m sure you’ve guess from the title and if you follow me on social media then you’ll know that I went to see Ed Sheeran live in concert, it’s not quite sunk in yet. I went along to the Etihad Stadium in Manchester with Holly, my brother and his friend and experienced the best night of live music I’ve ever had.
I love documenting my experience of concerts here on my blog and I knew I had to write this post as soon as I bought the tickets last year. Not only is it a nice way to document my memories but it’s also nice to be able to share my experience with other people and just to sing the praises of the artist I saw.
I’m going to start off by reflecting back on July 8th, 2017, the day that Holly and I bought our tickets.
As visually impaired people, we’re lucky in the sense that we can buy disabled access tickets and with every purchase, it’s possible to receive a free personal assistant ticket hence why my brother and his friend were able to come along as our guides at no extra cost, one of the pros to being visually impaired.
In order to purchase disabled access and our personal assistant tickets, we had to send proof of disability in beforehand after creating an account with the stadium. We managed to do that in the couple of weeks that led up to the ticket release date so everything was sorted by the time it came to making our purchase and it made the process a lot quicker and easier since the stadium had our details all to hand prior to when we phoned them.
We both decided to call the Etihad on the morning the tickets were released as we thought we’d have a better chance of getting them that way. We both called the disabled access line a few minutes before the tickets went on sale and were put in a queue as expected. We were calling at 10am and there were about 60 people in front of us already, clearly, Ed is a man who is very much in demand! We were both in the queue for about an hour before I was finally put through and made the purchase. We were lucky in the sense that Ed had just released an extra date for the Friday night and I was able to buy us tickets for that instead of the Thursday night show which we originally planned on going to. The process of booking the tickets was really easy, it definitely helped that we had both created an account and provided all our details beforehand because all they needed was the payment details.
We were absolutely over the moon after making the purchase because we had both wanted to see Ed live for years so it all seemed very surreal to us and since the show wasn’t until May, it also seemed like a lifetime away.
As I said, May felt like a lifetime away but it soon came around and the four of us were very excited when the day finally arrived. My mum very kindly drove my brother, his friend and I to the stadium which I’m so grateful to her for so thank you so much Mum. I had booked a place in the Disabled car park at the stadium a couple of weeks beforehand so this made it less stressful in terms of needing to find somewhere to park.
We made our way through security and to our seats which were quite easy to find. We waited about 15 minutes until the first support act, Jamie Lawson, came on stage at around 18:30. I love Jamie’s voice, I think it’s really unique and he did give a really good performance. It’s just a shame that there weren’t many people in the stadium at that point to cheer him on. I did also feel like it was slightly difficult to hear his voice at times as the music seemed to overpower it but it was still an amazing set nonetheless and I definitely think he deserves so much more recognition for his music. My favourite song of his is definitely ‘I wasn’t expecting that’ which he sang towards the end of his set, I also loved ‘Can’t see straight’ which is a song he wrote with Ed so it had to be a great song, right?
At around 7:30, the second support act, Anne-Marie came on stage and opened with one of her most popular songs, Ciao Adios. Holly and I both love Anne-Marie’s music so it was definitely a great experience to hear her live. We got a bit too excited when she sang her song ‘Perfect’ which is such a beautiful song which means a lot to both of us. I’d definitely go see Anne-Marie headlining her own show, I just love her voice and the messages she has within her songs. She also has such a great aura surrounding her, I could definitely do with some of the confidence she has!
At 8:45, the man himself finally came on stage and again, we got a bit too excited but it’s Ed Sheeran, what do you expect?
Now, here is where I try to find the right words to say to describe his performances but there’s so many, it’s hard to know where to begin. He opened his set with ‘Castle on the Hill’ and followed up with ‘Eraser’ which I believe were two perfect songs to kick-off the show. It’s safe to say that I was in awe of every single performance. I think there were near to 20 songs which he sang in total, every one of which was amazing. The passion Ed has for his music is so obvious when he’s singing and I love that about him as an artist.
I decided that I wanted to audio record the show because I feel like it’s nice to relieve the moments by listening to them again and it makes it a lot more personal when you can hear your own screaming and singing in the background. Ed performed for an hour and 45 minutes but I managed to cut that down to about 17 minutes of some of my favourite moments and I thought I’d share them with you:
I find it hard to choose which of the songs I loved hearing the most, every single one was incredible but if I had to pick some favourites, I’d say; The A Team, Bloodstream, Happier, Photograph, Galway Girl, Nancy Mulligan, Thinking Out Loud and Perfect.
Speaking of Perfect, my brother very kindly recorded videos of some performances, Perfect being one of them. It was one of my favourite songs to hear and sing-along to during the set so I had to share it in this post.
As I said, I was in awe of every single performance and couldn’t quite believe I was there at times. I feel so lucky to have been able to see Ed live after all these years of singing along to his songs in my room.
He closed the show with ‘Shape of You’ and ‘You need me, I don’t need you’ which were the perfect songs to end an amazing night.
It was obvious that every single person in that stadium wanted to be there to support Ed, sing along and to have a good time with everyone else around them. There’s something really special when the entire stadium starts singing along together, it’s like being a part of the biggest and best choir you could ever be in.
The reason I love concerts is because everyone is there for one reason or, as Ed said, 98% of everyone who’s there are there for that one reason, the other two percent (as he said) are the boyfriends who have been dragged along or the dads who are looking out for their kids. But, the place is filled with people of all ages, different genders and all abilities, all with one thing in common. I feel like it’s a place for everyone to forget about the outside world for a few hours, a place to embrace who you are and showcase your love for music and the artist you’re there to see. It’s an indescribable feeling of happiness and so many other emotions. I just love the atmosphere so much.
The 10 month wait was definitely worth it, I don’t think I’ve screamed or sang as loud in my life, the sore throat at the end of the night was definitely worth it.
If you’re going to any of the shows during the rest of the #DivideTour then you’re in for a real treat, it’s definitely the best concert I’ve been to.
If you like Ed’s music then I highly recommend going to see him live, it’s good music on a whole new level.
It’s definitely going to be a night that I’ll never forget and it was so lovely to share it with my brother, his friend and Holly. I don’t think I stopped smiling at any point.
It’s a night that i’m going to be banging on about for quite a while so sorry in advance to those of you who know me in person!
Thank you again to my mum for driving us there and back home, and again to Holly, my brother and his friend for being there to make the night even more amazing and of course to Ed for making everyone in that stadium happy, for encouraging us to be ourselves and for sharing his incredible talent with us all.
It was absolutely incredible to see him live after all these years wishing I would one day. The fact that he performs and gives such a performance on his own without a band truly reflects the amazing talent he has.
This will be a night that I’m going to cherish forever as i know Holly will aswell. Don’t forget to give her post a read aswell to hear about her experience of the concert.
Have you ever seen Ed Sheeran live in concert or are you going to see him at any point? Let me know as I’d love to hear from you.