On February 3rd Foy Vance, Rizzle Kicks, and Ed Sheeran performed at The Midland in Kansas City, MO. As I arrived at the venue earlier in the afternoon there were already about 50 people camped outside the venue, hopeful to get a good seat for the show later that evening. By seven o’clock when the doors opened, the line was wrapped all the way around all four sides of the building. Needless to say, there were a lot of people there.
First on the line-up was Foy Vance. I had never heard any of his songs before the show, but he was absolutely incredible. His songs had such a poetic, well written sound that there’s no way anyone could deny how talented he is. He had a very similar vibe to Ed Sheeran and I would see that later in the show when he performed a song with Ed.
Next up was the pop/R&B duo, Rizzle Kicks. They were so entertaining and fun and literally the whole crowd was dancing along with them. It was a cool transition between Foy Vance and Ed. Both acts have hearty lyrics and are more singer/songwriter whereas Rizzle Kicks had a completely different sound. They added variety to the concert for sure, and they were a hit when they came out later in the show to rap with Ed during “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.” Definitely a fun group to watch.
Finally was the artist everyone was waiting for, Ed Sheeran. I can say without a doubt that he was the best performer I have ever seen live. What makes Ed Sheeran so unique is his ability to simply put on a show with a guitar and his voice and make you feel more than you ever have. I was blown away by the fact that he could silence the entire auditorium and sing some of his slower songs completely a cappella. When you can do that with over a thousand people, some being obsessive teenage girls, that is true talent.
The show started off with “Give Me Love”, one of my favorites and one of the most powerful songs he has. It was a great way to start the set and show just how powerful of a singer/songwriter Sheeran is. Next, he transitioned into “Drunk”, “UNI”, and “Grade 8”, all more upbeat songs that definitely didn’t disappoint. He really impresses the crowd because of his extremely humble nature. When he performs in front of you, he doesn’t display “Grammy-nominated artist Ed Sheeran”. He is so humble and simple with his t-shirt, jeans, and acoustic guitar that he makes every person in attendance feel his passion for what he does.
From there he moved to the slower, more serious part of the show. He sang a cover of “Wayfaring Stranger” and then “Small Bump”. “Small Bump” is one of the most heartfelt, emotional songs on Ed’s album, +. He managed to get the entire audience completely silent as he belted out the words to this extremely emotional song about a child that never got to experience the world. Everyone around me was in tears and the song is so beautiful, especially live, that I even had tears in my own eyes. Continuing on the quieter part of the show, Sheeran performed a cover of Nina Simone’s “Be My Husband”. After, Foy Vance returned to the stage to sing a duet of “Kiss Me.” Sheeran started off the song explaining he wrote it about his parent’s best friends who fell in love. He dedicated it to anyone who has ever fallen in love with his or her best friend. Another tear jerker for sure, and it was definitely a very sweet song. He finished off the quiet part with three more lyrically beautiful love songs, “Sofa”, “Wake Me Up”, and “Lego House”. That wrapped up the first part of his set until the encore.
When Ed came back on stage for the encore, he opened up with the ever popular “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.” This song lasted for a good fifteen minutes, but it was definitely not too long. In that time he sang a little bit with Rizzle Kicks, threw in part of Macklemore’s recently popular “Thrift Store”, and had each side of the crowd sing different parts of the song creating as he called it his “Kansas City Gospel Choir.” He wrapped up the show with another song from +, “Gold Rush” and then finally a combination of a traditional Irish song “Parting Glass” and his Grammy-nominated single, “The A Team”.
This was hands down the best show I’ve ever been to. Not only were the opening acts super entertaining and talented, Ed Sheeran hit the ball out of the park. I listen to Sheeran’s music religiously and I can say that he sounded the exact same if not better live. He created so much emotion in that venue and he did things I’ve never seen any artist accomplish with just his guitar and powerful voice. Ed Sheeran in my opinion is definitely one of the most talented musicians right now, and after attending his show there is no doubt in my mind that he is incredibly deserving of that Grammy. If you have a chance to attend one of his shows I absolutely recommend it.