I heard about this NBC special 4 days before it aired and as a big Ed Sheeran fan, of course I was excited 😀
NBC did a similar thing for Adele when she was at Royal Albert Hall after she won all those Grammys and it was shortly after she finished recovering from vocal cord surgery [a lot of that going around lately- Sam Smith and Meghan Trainor, coincidentally two artists I didn’t really get right away and still am not 100% supportive of]. But they also gave her a Dateline-type special before the concert special.
While on Adele, I did get her “21” album a while after it won the Grammys and I’d listened to it a couple times. And her voice is so good on “Skyfall” that I get goosebumps every time…. but I sincerely hope that she waits until next year to release her follow-up album.
I could never get over it if she beat out Taylor Swift’s “1989” album… or any other artist wins Album of the Year. I’m still frustrated that Ed Sheeran [“X” was THE best album of 2014, HANDS DOWN] lost to Beck because he only won to make up for years of snubs… and annoyed with the people who harp on Adele being “more mature” than Taylor. In fact, I am so sensitive to hearing that that I threaten to spontaneous combust.
Bottom line: both have songwriting talent, but I relate MUCH more to Taylor’s songwriting. End of story.
Comparably, Ed Sheeran only got an hour devoted to him and it was 1/3 documentary, 1/3 concert and 1/3 commercials… so yeah, I did have minor points where I was frustrated, but the special as a whole, I agree was handled really well. Particularly from an editing point of view. Not that doing those YouTube montages makes me any more of an expert of film making and editing, but it’s just something I noticed.
Granted, I would have LOVED if they cut out one commercial so they’d include Ed Sheeran performing “Don’t”… but we all have to make sacrifices somewhere.
The playlist ran like this:
Thinking Out Loud
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart [duet with Elton John]
It’s a decent set list, if you only had room for six songs, which included a duet with a special guest.
I remember the two of them dueting “The A-Team” at the Grammys and it was a pretty cool moment. I never figured those two artists would fit together, but in the documentary, they just made it work. Apparently, the two of them are good friends that have a lot of esteem and respect for one another. Both of them are British and have handled a concert with only them and their instrument of choice. While I wished they’d had Taylor Swift so they’d do their actual duet “Everything Has Changed,” Elton John’s involvement was a smart move for this documentary.
Around that time in the tour, it was the 2nd of 3 shows Ed Sheeran was doing at Wembley- the British musician’s equivalent to Carnegie Hall, the arena you dream of playing. He was a little frustrated at the end of his first show where the loop pedal broke and he lost strings on both his guitars, and Elton John’s support of him helped him relax those perfectionist tendencies he has.
Speaking of tendencies… each of these days, Ed would woke up after 12 o’clock and say he either partied too hard the night before or was hung over.
Maybe those lyrics in his music really have some truth to him (multiple times, he’s mention something about alcohol or drinking)…
One cool thing about him: he encourages a lot of crowd participation. It not only helps him connect with as many people as he can, but it makes his concerts an experience. More than just him on the stage with a microphone, guitar and loop pedal. Not that I mind that 😛 but the overall impact with the crowd, it’s real nice.
I get the inclusion of “Photograph” because it’s the newest single on the radio. It was a strong moment, but I did find it a little repetitious and overlong :shrug: just voicing my personal tastes.
Personally, I’d have substituted it with “Don’t” because I freaking love that song 😛 as much as I love singing along to it.
[I’m not sure if YouTube still carries it, but I’d recommend looking up Ed Sheeran’s 2014 iHeart Radio set. I watched that Coldplay and Taylor Swift’s and really enjoyed them. I was surprised how well he filled that arena for a great concert. I also saw part of his album release party and had fun with that too].
“Thinking Out Loud” was cool because behind him, you saw footage of the accompanying music video where he was doing a contemporary dance with someone from So You Think You Can Dance. But I got a little teary eyed when I saw a lot of couples in the audience, including a boyfriend that proposed… not to copy them, but I’d love my proposal to have that much thought and romance behind it… but first there’s the matter of finding that ability to open my heart to love- beginning with myself.
He had to at least have the two songs from his debut album- because his fans come to expect them.
And the tears continued when he went into “The A-Team.”
It brought me back to the first time I heard it on the radio. How poignant the lyrics were and how impressed I was. People complain how he’d become the male equivalent of Taylor Swift after he’d a really original debut album. What he was then hasn’t gone away: it’s just evolved to include more nuances.
I had a good feeling that “Sing” would be the last song he’d cover. Simply going from previous concert events I’d seen of his, he likes to have the crowd do the sing-along chorus and they continued it long after he left the stage. It’s just built for that type of moment.
So… yeah… I have my nitpicks in places, but overall, it was a great special and I had fun with it.