I purchased tickets to see Ed Sheeran perform in Nashville at the Nissan Stadium on Saturday, October 6th on his Divide World Tour.
Let’s just say, if he comes back to Nashville next year or anytime soon, I will definitely go see him again. He is an amazing performer! I knew he would be great but he still wowed this 59-year-old mama. When he came to downtown Nashville last year and performed at Bridgestone Arena, he sold out fast and there was such a huge demand for tickets, that they brought him back for a second night. He came very close to selling out at Nissan Stadium (just a few upper level seats were unfilled).
Ed Sheeran said right at the beginning that this concert wasn’t about him, that it was about “us” which brought on loud cheers from the entire stadium. He wants everyone to sing and sing loud, and he wants his audience to dance and have fun. He’s really fantastic in how he draws in the audience and gets them to participate. I don’t usually sing or dance at concerts but this ole gal was singing at the top of her lungs and swaying to the beat. I’ve said it before, but his music just makes this non-dancer want to dance.
Ed’s sweet and cute and funny. And SO humble. He joked around and sympathized with the “boyfriends and the superdads”– you know, the ones who probably really didn’t want to be there. It’s very obvious Ed Sheeran loves what he does and he loves his fans. Even though he was performing in this massive stadium that sits 69,000+ people, it’s more like he’s sitting across from you in your living room chatting and singing. He’s so personable and likable. I like so many things about Ed Sheeran, but mostly I love how he’s very close to his parents. He makes it known that family is important to him (I recall reading somewhere that he bought his parents a flat in London across from his and said he wanted them to be close when he started having their grandchildren and he wanted them to enjoy his money too). And….. he likes cats!
He loves Music City and says it’s his favorite city in the entire United States to perform in. And while you might be thinking that he probably says that about every city he goes to, I’ve heard him say in interviews that Nashville is his favorite U.S. city. He lived here in Hendersonville, the fourth-largest city in the Nashville metropolitan area, for about a year. He got laughter and roaring cheers from the audience when he said, “I’m so happy to be back. I find when you play shows in Nashville, because like 50% of the audience is musically inclined, whenever you ask the audience to sing back, it’s always, like, perfectly in tune and in four-part harmonies.”
I went to the concert with my oldest son who is about 17 months older than Ed (I don’t think I embarrassed him too much!) and one of my sisters. We had good seats on the floor level. Any seats in the stadium would have been good though. After two hours of two different opening acts (Lauv and Snow Patrol), Ed came out around 9 pm and performed for a solid two hours. It’s just him on the stage with his acoustic guitar and his custom-designed loop pedal. So he’s a one-man band and he absolutely nails it. He’s a musical genius to pull that off (and to write the wonderful songs that he writes). No band, no backup singers or dancers. Just Ed. He performs in a tee-shirt and blue jeans. For his first encore he came out in a Titan’s Jersey which of course brought roars from the crowd.
I looked around and while there was definitely more females than males represented in the audience, I loved that there was all different age groups of both sexes represented. I saw a lot of grandfathers and a lot of women my age and teenagers and younger kids as well. He appeals to all ages because he’s so versatile in what he writes and sings.
We were close to the end of our row and when he sang Thinking Out Loud, the couple at the very end of the row stood and slow danced while looking intently into each other’s eyes with so much love there. It brought tears to my sister’s eyes. I leaned over and told her that Thinking Out Loud may have been their wedding song. Who knows? I didn’t take any electronic devices to the concert and so I didn’t record anything or take photos (I wanted to be in the moment), but the following video is from YouTube (shot at Nashville Saturday night). I love the way the entire audience sang along. It was really loud in person and if you’ve ever been in a stadium with 70,000 people singing an Ed Sheeran song, well, it’s just very cool! And then there was the lovely couple dancing together which was both romantic and sweet.
The one downside (if I had to list one) is that it’s still very hot and humid in Nashville and Saturday was no exception. We’re still having temperatures hovering in the low 90s. Our temperature this evening at 5 pm was 86 with a heat index of 90 and it’s October 8th people! Happy fall y’all! It was also a very humid night Saturday and Ed puts a lot of work into his performances and I could see the sweat just dripping down his face and even off his beard on the close-up shots. At one point, his tee-shirt was pretty well soaked, looking like someone had doused him with a bucket of water. Welcome to Nashville! He kept a towel handy that he used to wipe his face off with after almost every song. But hot as it was, it was heaven sitting under the stars listening to Ed Sheeran. It just doesn’t get any better than that. I came home with a concert souvenir.
The crowd mostly stood on its feet for the entire two hours that he performed. His setlist was:
Castle on the Hill
The A Team
Tenerife Sea (this was the only song he asked for quiet from the audience)
Feeling Good/I see Fire
Thinking Out Loud (swoon)
Perfect (swoon again)
Shape of You (first encore)
I Don’t Need You, You Need Me (second encore–this was the only song I wasn’t real familiar with, but it was fantastic and a great song to end the concert)!
Leaving the stadium took a while and traffic in Nashville was gridlocked that night (There were a few other events going on that night as well). We didn’t get home until almost 1 am in the morning. Again, welcome to Nashville on a Saturday night!
So yes, I would see Ed again in a heartbeat and now I know why so many people who go to see him, have seen him multiple times.
Ed, Nashville adores you. Come back anytime!