By Aimee Jewell–
Ed Sheeran performed last Friday night at The Louisville Palace, alongside an energetic duo from England, Rizzle Kicks, and an Irish folk-singer, Foy Vance. Officially a Grammy-nominated artist, Sheeran arrived in Louisville for his headlining U.S. tour this winter, and will be touring with Taylor Swift on her “Red” tour from March through September of this year. Sheeran is most famous for his Top-40 hit “The A Team,” and also writing the One Direction hit “Little Things.”
The show began with Foy Vance, an English songwriter who got his start by having multiple hits on the TV drama “Grey’s Anatomy.” Vance opened the show with an acoustic guitar, his Ray LaMontagne-like melodies, and a deep, raspy voice.
Vance was followed by the upbeat, nearly incomprehensible duo that has seen much success in Europe perform hits such as “Down with the Trumpets” and “Mama Do the Hump.” Rapping with an English accent made the duo difficult to understand, but the sound and energy during their set was contagious.
Opening his set with a vivacious single, Sheeran played an array of hits throughout his set list, spanning from his next single “Lego House,” to a short rendition of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop.” Displaying a diverse repertoire of talents, Sheeran wowed the audience with his incredible and diverse musical abilities.
Sheeran performed a phenomenal live set, and built on each track, leaving the audience mesmerized by his catchy rhythms and multi-colored electronic screens behind him. His set began with a spirited, lively style that carried over from Rizzle Kicks’ set. He explained to the audience how the looping technology worked while performing his songs and showed the audience which pedal did what and how each microphone worked, a unique twist to a typical set. With an incredible on-stage presence, Sheeran directed the hundreds of screaming teenage fans by heavily encouraging them to sing along during upbeat singles, and hushing them for numerous traditional, a cappella Irish folk songs.
While his Grammy-nominated “The A Team” track is a slow ballad, discussing the horrors of prostitution and drug addiction, he also fascinated the audience with his clever raps, citing Eminem as one of his main influences while growing up. “If you come into a show with a smile, you should leave with a smile,” Sheeran told the audience.
Sheeran‘s encore consisted of three different songs, a drawn out rendition of “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” and a traditional Irish folk song wishing his audience farewell, that led flawlessly into “The A Team.”
Many may remember Sheeran performing alongside Queen and Pink Floyd at the Olympics Closing Ceremony in 2012, and this February, he will be performing with English songwriter Elton John at the 2013 Grammys. He will be returning to Louisville on May 7 for Taylor Swift’s “Red” tour.
Photo courtesy of Max Sharp Photography