By Laura Fouquette
Hushed tones spread across, as the audience focuses on the on the man on the stage pouring out his soul in song. The British singer songwriter Ed Sheeran played a show at the House of Blues in downtown San Diego on Tuesday night for three hundred screaming fans. Best known for his hit “The A Team,” 21-year old Sheeran is currently embarking on his debut North American Tour. His clever lyrics and perfect melodies have attracted a fan base of all ages all over the globe. Although the show didn’t start until eight, fans had been waiting outside the venue on blankets in the 84 degree weather since one PM to be close to the stage.
Before Ed Sheeran started his performance, two opening acts, Selah Sue and Passenger, warmed up the crowd. Selah Sue, a Belgian musician and songwriter, is often compared to Amy Winehouse. Her peculiar voice and powerful guitar playing silenced the crowd. In her broken English, she charmed the crowd with her songs “Raggamuffin” and “This World.” Next, singer songwriter Mike Rosenburg, known as his stage name Passenger, surprised the crowd with his soulful and passionate tone. The string of profanities in a posh British accent that left his mouth between songs were somewhat charming.
When Ed walked on stage, everyone went wild, and the sea of people pushed closer to the stage, stepping on toes and breathing on each other’s’ necks. Known for his bright red hair and angelic voice, many fans’ signs referred to Sheeran as “Ginger Jesus.” He opened with “Give Me Love,” followed by the high energy track “Drunk.” Sheeran urged the crowd to belt out every song whether they knew the lyrics or not. Sheeran remarked that the San Diego House of Blues was “one of the more intimate gigs [he has] played because [he] can see everyone’s faces.”
The show was extremely interactive; he called the crowd to be his “community gospel choir” as he gave each side of the room a note to sing to create the full effect of the song. With a wide smile on his face the whole time, Sheeran told funny anecdotes between songs and made conversation with people yelling out in the crowd. When someone yelled out that it was their friend’s birthday, Ed sang happy birthday especially to her.
Sheeran stood alone on stage with only him, his guitar, and a loop pedal. He used the loop pedal to create a full studio sound by layering guitar, vocal, and drum elements. Surprisingly, Sheeran is also a tremendous rapper and beat boxer. His blues cover of Nina Simone’s “Be My Husband” made the floor vibrate while “Small Bump” brought many to tears. During “This,” Ed told everyone to find someone they’d never met before and give them a hug and hold onto them during the entire song.
After a sweaty half an hour encore, Sheeran said goodbye at midnight as he needed to go straight back to Los Angeles to film the Ellen DeGeneres show the next day, which aired Thursday October 4th. Ed Sheeran returns to San Diego next year on February 12th at the Spreckles Theater.