Ed Sheeran

I remember seeing the movie The Hobbit, The Desolation of Smaug 5 years ago and hearing this great song that played through the end credits.

It had a mesmerizing lilt that was both haunting and poetic.

I waited with my family until that song ended before daring to step out of the theater.

Who was that singer?

I looked it up on my phone as soon as I got in the car to drive home.

It was called “I See Fire” by a guy named Ed Sheeran.

Ed Sheeran?

I bought the song on iTunes and have listened to it often.

Then one day last year my daughter started singing a somewhat inapporopriate song for an 8 year old to sing…”Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran.  She was singing it all of the time (she had heard it on the car radio) and said she wanted the CD with this song for her birthday.  So I bought it for her.

I was blown away.

So I bought two other CDs by Ed Sheeran.

Yes, I still buy CDs from time to time.

They are still available online through Amazon along with LP records.

I have played these three CDs non-stop for the last year and have found that I have never tired of hearing any of the songs.  I also have found that I don’t dislike any of the songs on any of the three CDs.  CDs titled +, X, and ÷.

The bottom line is this…I love Ed Sheeran’s music.

He’s a one man band.

He plays with no band behind him.

He has this box that sits at his feet that he records on as he’s playing and it will loop back out.  It’s called a loop station.  He IS the band.  Gigi and I watched an episode of Austin City Limits on PBS with him and saw his loop station.  It helps him to create sound, as if he’s got a band behind him.

He’s such a talent.

An amazing talent.  Many of his songs are about love and girls (he’s only 27 years old for gosh sakes) but there’s something so catchy that I got hooked thanks to Gigi and I got my teenager Zoe and Man-Farmer hooked as well.  Because I really do play the CDs all of the time.

I don’t know where it was that I saw that he was going to go on tour to promote his ÷ album, but I was super interested.

I looked up the details and found out that he was doing a world-wide stadium tour.  He would be singing in sports stadiums and would hit North America at the end of August.

“I’m sure that that would cost a pretty penny to go to” were my thoughts.  We had taken the kids to see Katy Perry in concert last year, but those tickets were affordable and we bought cheap seats at the top of the arena…and we had good luck on our side that night because a security guard ended up swapping our tickets after we had been there for maybe 20 minutes for tickets on the main floor in the 8th row—great seats for our kids’ first real concert….but tickets to a stadium tour?  Those were going to be mucho dinero.  I had tried to get tickets to see Adele last year in Chicago, but they sold out in minutes.  Chicago concerts ALWAYS sell out fast.  ALWAYS.

But, maybe this would be different.

St. Louis was on the list.  St. Louis is where we saw Katy Perry (hence the affordable seats) and so I took a peek on the Ticketmaster website and saw that maybe yes, maybe we could afford to see Ed Sheeran in concert.  Four tickets cost a lot more than two tickets, but I don’t believe in seeing concerts without my kids.  Because we all love music in our house (one daughter plays percussion in band and one daughter sings in a local choir) and music is always heard throughout our home when the television is off.  Heck, sometimes it is on even if the tv is operating.  We listen to music on a bluetooth speaker when we swim in our pool.  Zoe and I listen to music on earbuds when we are mowing the grass.  Music has always been a big part of my life.  My dad has a huge album collection and he played those albums when I was a young child…Simon and Garfunkel, The Eagles, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton.  He and I share musical tastes with one another.  I introduced him to Steve Earle when I was 35 and he introduced me to The Beatles when I was 2.  I bought him tickets to see Paul McCartney in concert in Chicago many years ago.  He forced me and my brother to see The Beach Boys in concert every summer of our childhood.

Music is something I need to share with my children.

Man-Farmer was a fan of music when we met, but didn’t regularly listen to albums in his free time.  His family was not a musical one (even though his mother has sang in a church choir since his youth) and he said he never saw a live concert until he moved to Chicago when he was 20 years old.

That shocked me for sure!

By 20, I had already seen too many live concerts to really count.

I would NOT, will NOT,  let that happen to my children.

And the sisters are at the age where we can actually do this live concert thing.

So, I bought 4 tickets to see Ed Sheeran in concert at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Not in the front row. We do live on a tight budget. But, also, not in the last row. I saved from a few paychecks and bought them in April.

We went on Thursday, September 6th.

Yes, I took my kids to a concert that is two hours from home on a school night.


Yes, the concert didn’t start until 7pm.

Yes, the concert didn’t get over until after 11pm.



Yes, my kids slept in the car on the two hour drive home.

Yes, my kids went to school the next morning.

Yes, we had an amazing time singing the songs we have memorized right along with the artist who wrote them. Ed encouraged everyone to dance and sing along. Man-Farmer knew all of the words to all of the songs, but said he felt like he was in a pinball machine…he was being bopped around on his left side by his teen daughter and bopped from his right side by the 26 year old girl he was seated next to. I always get the aisle seat (I always purposely buy an aisle seat) as I tend to overbop at a concert.

He was right there!  Right down there!  Ed and his loop machine!


He had two opening acts, Anne Marie and Snow Patrol, and he put on a great show for 40,000+ people.  I reminded my kids that opening acts are not something to ignore when at a concert.  They are future mega-talents.  I am reminded of a concert I saw in 1990.  I went to see The Red Hot Chili Peppers and two bands opened for them.  The Smashing Pumpkins (I thought they were just okay) and this other really good band who had a singer with a gravelly, distinct, deep voice.  It was Pearl Jam.  That voice belonged to Eddie Vedder.

I will continue to take my kids to concerts.  I don’t care if they occur on a school night.  I have a true need to share live music with them.  Something I did as a kid and continued to do as a young adult.  Back when concerts were much cheaper.  And, as a young adult, living in the third largest city in the U.S. helped.  Zoe’s first concert was an Alison Krause concert in Highland Park, IL when she was probably 2 months old.

Share your love with your kids…be it sports or music or theater or travel.

A friend from college takes her kids to see live music and theater often. YES!

Immerse your kids in what you love and that love will spread.

Passions will be ignited in them.

A future may begin to unfold within them that they are not even aware of yet.

And immerse yourself in things your kids like…you may be surprised how much you enjoy their music or sports.

Gigi said we now need to see Adele and Lady Gaga.  I agreed that yes, we do.  Let’s shoot for St. Louis…Gaga did play in St. Louis, but it was right after we saw Katy Perry and we missed it.  Dang it!

It was a great concert.  Even if we didn’t get our seats upgraded this time.  And he played “I See Fire”, so my heart was fulfilled.


Photo from Ed Sheeran’s Instagram account taken by Zakary Walters

There was a couple sitting behind us at Ed Sheeran who commented to us that they thought it was cool that we were there with our kids.  They told us that they had left their kids at home with a sitter.  But, that they were only 2 and 3 years old.  I told them that before they know it, in a blink of an eye, those kids will be old enough to take to concerts, too.  They said they can’t wait for that to happen.

I can’t wait for that to happen for them either…


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