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July 18, 2013

ed sheeran & taylor swift // 1 out of 55,000.

Not only have I crossed off "see a live concert" from my bucket list, but I've now double crossed it. Really, I've crossed it two and a half times, because I went to Taylor Swift's Red tour this past Saturday, and Ed Sheeran has been her opener for the whole tour. I love Taylor Swift even though she could be so annoying, (but I think she kind of knows that she's annoying, which redeems her character a little bit), and I am absolutely obsessed with Ed Sheeran. I think he's a fascinating artist, and so so so talented.

The show opened up with Joel Crouse, a handsome little country man who played three or four songs to warm up Austin Mahone, a 17 year old Bieber wannabe with an adorable little face and some suave dance moves. After the two of them is when I started to get really excited and anxious waiting for Ed to come out.

I saw his set list up online a few weeks prior to the show, and even though I knew he'd be performing my favorite song of his 'Give Me Love' (he opened with it and I cried), he wasn't playing one of my other favorites, 'U.N.I.' So my friend Jackie (my music soulmate, if you recall from my post about One Direction) and I decided to start tweeting to him incessantly to perform U.N.I. at the July 13 New Jersey show. So not only was I excited to see him in general, but Jackie and I thought that there would be about a 1% chance that he would see the tweets and play it, and about a .000000001% chance we would get a shout out. A girl can dream.

Finally he came out in all his glory and immediately jumped into Give Me Love. Like I mentioned before, I cried. I think it's such an emotional song and just hearing him sing it live in front of me and changing the style up to show off his live vocals was amazing. He played his two US radio singles, 'The A Team' and 'Lego House', and 'Grade 8', also off of his + album (which I blogged about here).

In the middle of those, he started off between songs by saying something along the lines of, "I like to change up the set list every once in a while to accomodate the fans." Well, you better believe that Jackie and I jumped to the ends of our chairs to stare at each other with our mouths wide open. This is it! And then, because we were in NJ and half of the audience was from New York, he played a rendition of Jay-Z's 'Empire State of Mind'. It was awesome, but we so got our hopes up. It was such a coincidence that he mentioned changing up his set list for his fans, but it was too good to be true though. All good in the end, because he redeemed himself with an incredible performance of his soon to be US hit 'You Need Me, I Don't Need You', which is more of a rap song. He inserted a few freestyle verses in between the existing ones, and even broke into a few bars of Macklemore's 'Thrift Shop'. He was so good that it hurt to see him get off the stage.

But then, all of the lights dimmed and the sun was really starting to go down and all of a sudden a huge spotlight shined onto a big red curtain in the middle of the stage, and there was Taylor behind it and the beat to 'State of Grace' bumping through the speakers. She put on a fantastic show. Each song had it's own set, the dancers were really good, her voice sounded incredible, she looked great in all of her outfits, even though she was so sweaty her bangs were stuck to her forehead, and most of all she was just really sweet.

It's widely known among her fans that her favorite number is 13, and tons of girls had shirts with Swift written on the back and 13 underneath. She mentioned the number, and then said that she's not sure that anyone would know, but her favorite month is July. She decided when she planned the tour that selling out this 55,000 person stadium on her favorite date would be the best way to celebrate it. So she had high expectations for the night and I would say that they were met. Her audience was crazy, so many people dressed up and a million signs decorated in fairy lights. When I went to see N'Sync as a nine year old version of myself, I went in a pair of shorts and a way too big for me shirt with all five of their faces in different colors - no signs, no lights (and no iPhone to record the whole thing). But that's a different story.

Another cool thing about this show was that even though we were pretty far back (though we were almost centered with the stage), there was a little mini stage on the floor a lot closer to where we were sitting, and for four songs, she stood on that one. She got carried to it during one song, can't remember which exactly, maybe 'I Knew You Were Trouble', and then stayed for a few more, including her duet with Ed, 'Everything Can Change'. It was really nice having her a lot more visible for that little bit, especially since Ed was a lot closer too. Also, the middle of that mini stage rose up and down, which got them even closer to us on the second level!

The show ended with 'We Are Never Getting Back Together' and a lot of fireworks exploding off the side of the stage. It was a great ending to a great show, and even though I was only one of 55,000 guests, I felt like all of the artists were really humble and grateful for every single person that was there. I would see the entire show again in a heartbeat, it was such an awesome way to spend a Saturday night.

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