Ed Sheeran Bayou Music Center January 18, 2013
It was 8:45, and Ed Sheeran was scheduled to perform at 9 p.m. sharp. Since I was cutting it close, I briskly walked up the steps, taking two at a time as I made my way to will-call. Arriving at the window, I asked for my two tickets and was informed, to my horror, that the show had been moved to Bayou Music Center.
So what the hell was I doing at House of Blues?
The concert was originally planned to take place at the best-sounding venue in town, but was moved to a larger site due to high demand. After bolting through downtown and, luckily, happening onto a spot just outside the venue, I raced inside to find a throng of young women who were beside themselves with either laughter or tears. There wasn't much of an in-between.
Everyone on the standing-room floor was crammed together, pushing toward the front of the stage; on the second floor, the seats were packed with young women I thought might fall over the railings at any second; and handmade signs were held high in the air, vying for attention from this songwriter, this kid I hadn't heard of until a week ago.
A few women even had to be dragged out of the pit, given water and set down in the back after losing their shit in a surge of excitement.
Sheeran is undoubtedly talented, and his hour-and-a-half-long set -- ranging from acoustic and intimate to bass-heavy rapping/scatting -- was proof of as much. Neither he nor the crowd let up for even a moment. He had that crowd in the palm of his hand all night.
When he asked the crowd to quiet down, the crowd went silent. I even snapped my fingers a few times to see if I could hear the echo. It's worth noting that I have never heard so many teenage girls be so quiet. I even got shushed a few times!
And when he wasn't asking for silence, fans sang along, shrieked and hollered until they couldn't anymore. When he closed the show with "The A Team," which I'm told is a beautifully sounding song about the life of a meth-addicted prostitute, the crowd hit its peak before many of them rushed outside in tears.
This kid has nowhere to go but up, assuming he doesn't upset his core fanbase. Or rap too much. That part was a little weird. Stick with making the young ladies swoon, Sheeran.
Personal Bias: None, but I certainly didn't expect this kind of a reaction from the crowd.
Overheard in the Crowd: "HAVE MY BABIIIIIIIIIIIES!!"
Random Notebook Dump: Madelyn, it was a pleasure meeting you.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.