Saturday 11th July 2015
I’m gonna pick up the pieces and build a Lego house…
The opening line of Ed Sheerans ‘Lego House’ perfectly sums up were his phenomenal success over the past years took him.
All the pieces added up in Wembley. The national stadium. Three sold out nights. One man and his guitar.
Saturday night was my time to witness the sheer ridiculous thought of how only one person could entertain a 90,000 strong crowd.
Arriving at Wembley with my friend Nessi in tow, unadulterated joy was streaming through the streets around the stadium some peace and quiet before the storm.
Doors opened at 4:30pm and the run for the best spots in the front row began.
After browsing the merchandise stalls we decided to make our way into the home of English football. Wembley is an amazing place, if you have ever stood in the centre of the pitch you know what I’m talking about.
It’s just such an iconic and massive stadium that unites the masses on so many different occasions. You only get the crème de la crème performing at Wembley that proofs what an honour it is to take to that stage.
Not everyone gets this chance.
However, if you are the ridiculously talented Ed Sheeran, you easily sell out that massive national stadium three nights in a row and while you’re at it, set a new record for the first male solo performer to do so. Simple.
Upon entering the stadium, excitement was in the air. A lot of concert goers already in their seats and the pitch quite crowded. We entered the standing area and quickly managed to get quite close to the stage.
The theme for the support acts surely must have been something like ‘London’s finest’ as the audience was greeted with performances from ‘Example’ and ‘Rudimental’, brilliant acts in their own rights.
First up was Hammersmith’s best export, Elliot Gleave as ‘Example’, who opened his show with the brilliant ‘Stay Awake’. Example quickly found his words to tell the story as five years ago he took that guy Ed Sheeran on tour with him and even it was early days said that he always knew that Ed will be playing stadiums at some point. Example made a point that he would return the favour of supporting and the rest is now history.
Example quickly wooed the crowd with his new brilliant single ‘Whisky Story’ which was an absolute treat and sounded lush in Wembley stadium.
At an Example show nobody stands still as you are constantly bouncing up and down, and let me tell you I have been to a lot of Example gigs, seeing him play Wembley was something special. It was so good to see Elliot smashing it back on stage, as it’s been a while since the gig at O2 Brixton. (read here)
Even the broad daylight couldn’t stop the masses to go crazy to the likes of ‘Kickstart’, ‘One More Day’ and ‘We’ll be Coming Back’. All in all the set was brilliant, but you could sense the ‘family friendliness’ as the harder stuff was missing.
Example closed his supporting slot with the obvious banger ‘Changed The Way You Kissed Me’ and needless to say, Wembley went for it! Some people surely had already lost their voices after this set. (Me 😉 ).
There was not much time for the crowd to calm down after the energetic ‘Example’ set, as Hackney’s finest drum and bass crew ‘Rudimental’ took to stage.
The quartet was all smiles and happiness as they kicked off their brilliant set. As usual at a Rudimental gig there was a lot going on, on stage. DJ Locksmith was bouncing up and down the entire stage and smiling the brightest smiles out there.
The backing singers and live band were killing it. As a special surprise the Rudimental guys got Alex Clare on stage to perform ‘Not Giving In’ and it was beautiful. The Wembley crowd was singing along and dancing in the last rays of sunshine.
Some gig goers surely had been ‘Waiting All Night’ but Rudimental made it worthwhile. Those up-tempo beats always get you moving. And although it was an absolute pleasure to see Rudimental again (more here) it was time for the last song.
The set was closed by the amazing ‘Feel The Love’ and within seconds Wembley stadium was a sea of love. The question ‘Can you feel the love?’ was quickly being answered by ten thousands of hearts, as everyone put their ‘heart hands’ up.
This beautiful moment perfectly set the scene for the man of the night. Ed Sheeran.
At 8:30pm Wembley stadium went dark and it was time for the magic to happen. After a very thoughtful intro that took the audience on a journey through the years of ‘Making Ed Sheeran’ , the star of the night came in sight and kicked of his two hour set with ‘I’m A Mess’.
Ed Sheeran welcomed the sold out stadium and first up needed to get something out of the way. He mentioned that on a few recent concerts people have been complaining that there must be a ‘hidden live band’ as you can clearly hear several voices and instruments.
‘This thing at my feet is a loop pedal and it loops my voice and the sound of the guitar. I can assure you all you see and hear tonight is just me, my guitar, the microphone and the loop pedal. It’s all live’.
What a statement to make at the beginning of a sold out stadium gig. However, being grazed with incredible talent Ed no doubt meant it and instantly delivered as he proofed all sceptics wrong with an immaculate version of ‘Lego House’.
‘Oh and as you are all facing forward, please sing and dance like nobody is watching, because nobody actually is. Don’t be ashamed just let go and lose your voice to this!’ having said that the first chords of ‘Drunk’ floated from the stage through the stadium and effortlessly had all the fans singing along.
Following that, Ed Sheeran showed why he deserves to stand on that massive Wembley stage as he took to his loop pedal and surprised the crowds with a medley of ‘Take It Back / Superstition / Ain’t No Sunshine’ and just rapped along as if he never had done anything else.
Moments like this do make you wonder if this is actually all real or if you are dreaming. Witnessing such a musical talent is something very special. Without doubt it is absolutely impressive to see and hear what one man all by himself can create.
Throughout the set the entire stadium was captivated by the singer-songwriter on stage, who looked like your friend that likes to bring out the guitar when sitting around a camp fire.
With his authenticity and simply his easily likeable personality Ed managed to keep the crowd hooked for two hours straight.
One of my personal favourites was the performance of ‘I See Fire’ which was smoothly mixed up with a great rendition of ‘Feeling Good’. The theme song for The Hobbit’ film is such an underrated song that deserves much more appreciation and love.
Experiencing the spine tickling sensation while taking in Ed’s vocals paired with the amazing visuals, that showed actual film footage, made me fall in love with that song even more.
Wembley stadium was turned into a sea of glittering lights as the gig-goers put their lights up to create a breath-taking atmosphere to accentuate the beauty of the love song ‘Thinking Out Loud’. A lot of love was in the air, as lovers were kissing and friends and strangers were hugging and just embracing the beautiful moment.
After that Ed Sheeran announced that the next song is technically going to be his last song, and when he wrote said song he thought that it was created to be played in bars and pubs. But now he knows that this is wrong and that his debut single ‘A Team’ was actually written to be performed in stadiums.
He couldn’t have been any prouder at this moment. The crowd acknowledged his success with impressive cheering and joined Ed in singing the famous lyrics.
The encore started with a powerful version of ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ and it seems like Ed Sheeran had been a bit too much into it and a bit too powerful as his loop pedal just couldn’t stand the sheer talent and had to give in.
Ed quickly announced that this show is being filmed for his live DVD and he wants to do this properly, so he will just sing something while the loop pedal is being fixed.
Scenes like these really remind you that Ed Sheeran is still the same lovely person he has always been and that fame hasn’t changed him at all. Having said that he just stood on stage and sang a gorgeous acoustic version of ‘The Parting Glass’ before having a second go at ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ which he completely smashed.
Two hours had flown by so quickly and it was unfortunately time for the last song of the night.
‘Wembley if you still haven’t lost your voices make sure you lose it to this one!’ Ed announced his hit ‘ Sing’ and Wembley followed suit and started singing the renowned ‘Oh-Oh-Oh-Ooh-Oh’.
Surely everyone wanted this to go on forever and even Ed insisted ‘to not stop singing’ and as Wembley one last time sang in union and tried to digest the magic of the night, Ed Sheeran made his famous ‘Edxit’ , leaving the stage while the crowd still happily sings ‘Oh-Oh-Oh-Ooh-Oh’.
It took me a good two days to process the happenings of that night as it was a phenomenal experience and I tried my very best to find the right words that would live up to a concert that you leave speechless.