Saturday June 6th, 2015 – this was the day I was going to see Ed Sheeran live at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. I had decided that my friend and I would make a day of it rather than head over solely for Ed, although that is reason enough! After a long subway ride due to TTC maintenance, we walked over to the quaint vegan restaurant (which I highly recommend), Fresh on Spadina, and had a hearty meal so that we’d be able to sing our hearts out at 7:30 PM when the concert began. After an amazing experience at the ACC, I can say that Ed Sheeran sure knows how to put on a show! Just before Ed came on, my friend and I were guessing as to which song he’d open with. Of course our thoughts were obvious – he HAS to open with ‘Sing’! Turns out, Ed opened with a song off his latest album, Multiply, called “I’m a Mess”. Now, unless you’ve listened to the entire album, you probably haven’t heard of this track. It isn’t one that is overplayed on the radio, so I was a little surprised by that choice. However, after hearing Ed sing it live, I’ve realized how great of a tune it truly is. Ed Sheeran is an incredible multitasker, by the way, and you need to see this live. There are so many things going on in his music, it’s unbelievable. For example, in “I’m a Mess”, there’s guitar, drums, and vocals. Now imagine Ed using his guitar as a drum set while singing – the man has a lot of energy on stage!

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Most of the songs he played were from his latest album, but he had the crowd screaming for more when he went back in time and played older tracks like “A-Team”, “Lego House”, and “Drunk”. He made the concert so interactive that you wouldn’t be able to stay glued to your seat even if you tried. During the slow “A-Team”, he urged everyone with a cell phone to turn their flashlights on and wave them in the air – even though he didn’t sing “All of the Stars”, we definitely got to see them. You wouldn’t expect to be dancing to a slow song like “Bloodstream”, but when Ed played it live, he had the audience fist-pumping to the beat during the chorus. The music and atmosphere was as intoxicating as the scenario the song describes. While Ed sang, there were screens behind him that displayed either him or the music video for the corresponding song. When “Thinking Out Loud” began and Ed told us to throw our arm around whoever we came with, the audience went wild. I am sure there was not a soul in the ACC who wasn’t singing along to this track and didn’t know the lyrics by heart. Personally, one of my favourite parts of the concert was the encore. It was a given that Ed would come back on stage because there was no way he’d be finished without performing “Sing”, and there’s no way I’d be satisfied if he didn’t play it because it’s my ringtone after all! So when the beat dropped and Ed ran back onto the stage, everyone was bobbing their head to the rhythm and shouting the lyrics with enthusiasm. The energy levels in the large concert hall were sky high even after Ed hurried off the stage to his next destination with one last “SING!”

If you’re an Ed Sheeran fan – seriously, is there anyone who doesn’t like his music? – I urge you to see him live just once because it’s an unforgettable experience. Ten days later and I still have him on repeat. You come out of the concert with a new appreciation for some of the songs you may not have paid much attention to when listening to the album and an even greater love for the classics like “Give Me Love”. I assure you that the post-concert high of the Ed Sheeran brand is worth the trek and definitely worth the money!

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