If not already, we suspect you’ll soon be wise to Ed Sheeran, his much anticipated appearances on Taylor Swift and One Direction‘s forthcoming albums only helping to quicken the pace with which he’s gaining ground and winning hearts stateside. In town Friday night for the New York City stop of his sold-out You Oughta Know tour, he kept the mostly young and female crowd rapt for the entirety of his two hour set by engaging them in his otherwise one-man show, acting equal parts the charming host, the talented music-man and the crush-worthy pop star. And although his frequently deployed Rick Ross‘ grunt may be less than potent, all the rest of Sheeran’s stage show is more than impressive.
Sheeran takes the stage alone each night and, with the help of his BOSS loop pedal and a willing audience, puts on full show. “Everyone has to sing, it’s compulsory,” he said early on in the evening, explaining that his style of performing requires the help of his audience “gospel choir.” And so before each song, he directed: “Sing extra loud, but only if you know the words,” he instructed before the almost rapped “U.N.I.;” he asked for quiet before covering “Wayward Stranger,” a traditional folk song; and he made sure everyone was comfortable with the refrain before delving into a moving Nina Simone cover. Teenage girls are not necessarily known for keeping cool while in close proximity to cute boys like Sheeran, but quick to sing along and quicker still to “shut up!” the persistent “I love you!”-er after Sheeran asked for quiet before the tender “Kiss Me.”
Sheeran announced today that he’ll be back statside for an 18-city trek that kicks off on January 17 at the House of Blues in Houston, and includes stops at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall and the Hollywood Palladium. If you didn’t get tickets this time around, you’ll want not to miss him then.
“Give Me Love”
“Grade 8″ inter-cut with Lil Kim’s “Lighter’s Up”
Nina Simone’s “Be My Husband”
“Hearts On Fire,” with Passenger and Selah Sue
“You Need Me, I Don’t Need You”
“Guiding Light,” with Foy Vance