Ed Sheeran incorporates authenticity and honesty in onstage performance, live-show

Jolly Ginger:   Sheeran performs onstage in Chicago on Oct.4 at Soldier Field. www.billboard.com

Jolly Ginger: Sheeran performs onstage in Chicago on Oct.4 at Soldier Field. www.billboard.com

Gwyn Skiles, asst. opinions editor

When I walked up the ramp of Soldier Field surrounded by a sea of blue t-shirts resembling the cover of Ed Sheeran’s most recent album, Divide, I couldn’t help but grin with anticipation. With my family huddled beside me, we danced to the speakers blaring Sheeran’s music all the way to our seats.

A few months ago, my sister received tickets to the concert. Since the album came out in March, my sister has listened to every song. Through her, I was introduced to every lyric of every song, and was thrilled when my sister allowed me to attend the concert seated alongside her in the crowd. The concert fulfilled all my fantasies of watching the cheerful redhead sing some of my favorite songs.

Sheeran’s authenticity stood out. Sheeran was the only body on-stage, and every song on his setlist was played live. To do this, Sheeran used a loop system, where he would record himself playing chords on his guitar, play them back, and keep adding on layers until he had the full accompaniment and harmonies for him to sing with. Unlike other artists whose music gets overshadowed by the use of synthesizers and auto-tune, Sheeran stands out by remaining natural. Through this, the lyrics of his songs serve to make an impact on his listeners rather than to serve as a catchy tune just to get stuck in people’s heads.

Sheeran wanted to make sure that Chicago sang and danced amongst one another. In order to accomplish this, Sheeran called out the super dads, attempting to leave early to avoid the traffic. Sheeran called out the boyfriends who supposedly met in the men’s bathroom bonding over the fact that his music wasn’t their thing, and that they were just there to please their girlfriends.

Though my voice was hoarse the next day, I had a night to remember. Now, when I listen to Sheeran’s music, I am even more impressed remembering his energetic performance. The jolly redhead exceeded my expectations, and I have to admit, I have most definitely become a devoted Ed Sheeran fan.