Thursday, June 29th was a night to remember for the crowd gathered at Sprint Center in the heart of downtown Kansas City, Missouri. Not only did phenomenal solo musician Ed Sheeran completely enthrall the sold out crowd during his fourth performance in that particular arena venue, but that night marked the first night of his North American tour and the first time he has hit the states in two years. To take it a step further, it was the first time Ed was performing the majority of his tracks from his latest album, March’s Divide.
And the excitement from those facts alone drove the show like crazy. Standing in the photo pit at the beginning was utterly insane, as he came in guns a-blazin’ with “Castle On The Hill” and rolled through to third song and debut chart topping hit “The A Team”, during which the entire audience held their cell phone lights up. A magical sight to be seen, it really set the tone for the entire evening.
Because Ed Sheeran fans know their shit. You couldn’t find a single person in that place that didn’t know the words to at least five songs. And though it might not be his most successful track numbers-wise, “Galway Girl” had everyone up out of their seats, singing and dancing and drinking like we were all in an intimate Irish pub. The most worrisome part of it all? The middle aged couple seated next to me who somehow found Sheeran’s music the perfect backdrop to a grinding/twerking session during the entire show, including the slower tracks and ballads. (And yes, you did just read that right.)
Sheeran’s lively cover of Nina Simone’s “Feelin’ Good” was perhaps the most surprising treat of the evening, though the tempo he played it at actually allowed him to roll right into his own intense track “I See Fire”, which was a standout for music and film buffs alike due to its association with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
The moment of the night that was most memorable – I’m almost insanely positive, at the very least – for the Kansas City crowd was when Ed introduced his much loved and sentimental track “Photograph”. He told us that he had been convinced he wrote the track elsewhere, but that the majority of it was written in the Intercontinental Hotel in our own city, only putting the finishing touches on it in Denver. He laughed as he dedicated the the track “to [our] beautiful city tonight,” and – of course – the crowd went wild. (Enough so that I almost got elbowed in the face by the middle aged couple freak dancing next to me.)
Perhaps the biggest moment of the night for Sheeran was during his track “Perfect”, when – not uncharacteristically – a man dropped down on one knee in the crowd and proposed to his girlfriend. People held their cell phones up all the way around, lighting the occasion for the happy couple, and Sheeran laughed a bit while he was singing. After he finished performing the song, he noted that it was an important moment, and thanked the two of them for immortalizing his song for the rest of their lives.
He rounded out the night with a lengthy, intense version of his track “U Need Me”. Questionably so, as we wonder if it was a subtle jab to any of the specific people in his life or the industry, as the song alludes to. To end with it, makes us wonder if he was trying to drive that initial point home, or if he was – more innocently – allowing his fans to express their own angst in a healthy and beautiful way together. We may never know, but what we do know is that he absolutely killed it, and Kansas City was the better for it.
Keep up with Ed Sheeran here.