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Thursday, 16 August 2018

Bucket List: Ed Sheeran in Warsaw - PGE Narodowy

Dearest lads and lasses,

Last Saturday I had the privilege to see and hear the wonderfully talented Edward Christopher Sheeran (Ed Sheeran) in Warsaw, in the PGE Narodowy Stadium. Born in England, with Irish grandparents (of whom he sings of in "Nancy Mulligan"), he sang in the local church choir ever since he was a wee lad of 4 years old. The earliest I can remember hearing Ed and listening to his songs on repeat was in 2013, when he released his wonderfully touching song called "I See Fire" for the movie "The Hobbit" - he was a sight for sore eyes, with that flaming red hair and that soothing voice. People were bound to fall for his voice and press on "Repeat" again and again... #DidYouKnow that on the 4th of December, Sheeran was named Spotify's most streamed artist of 2017 with 6.3 billion streams! Ed has Spotify's biggest album of the year with ÷ streamed 3.1 billion times, and the top song with "Shape of You" with 1.4 billion streams.
Ed Sheeran Concert tickets go out like hot bread, as soon as they went online, in less than 2-3 hours everything was taken out... hence the organisers did a very smart move: they praised super fast another concert date - the next day. Of course the tickets went flying away the next second. On Saturday and Sunday (11th and 12th of August 2018), Ed Sheeran played the 2 concerts at Warsaw's national stadium (PGE Narodowy Stadium) to promote his album "Divide" (÷). Two concerts in a row, to the happiness of all the hundreds and hundreds of people who came to listen to his soothing voice. The organisers were quite positive when they decided that despite the rainy weather the roof of the stadium would remain open (asking the participants not to bring umbrellas was not a smart move either...). But rain did come...and I was most definitely happy I stocked up with a raincoat ;)
Ed Sheeran's Instagram pic from Day 1 Concert in Warsaw, PGE Narodowy Stadium 
This was not Ed's first time in Poland, in Warsaw. 3 years earlier his tickets went away as warm bread in less than a week. The contact venue was back then Torwar, much smaller than the PGE Narodowy Stadium! This year's concert was promoting the record/album called "Divide"(÷). The tickets cost ranged from 269 to 400 zloty but they were worth every groszy! The Charm Music agency was the organiser and the Facebook page and the Facebook Event Page was always up to date with information. The entrances were open starting 16:00 hours and the band that were scheduled before Ed were from his entourage: 18:00 BE MY (Polish band), 18:30 Jamie Lawson, 19:30 Anne Marie and Ed was scheduled for 20:30 hours. 
How can one describe an Ed Sheeran Concert? Sheer madness, PGE Stadium transforming into a big pub gig, a mass of people moving and singing as one, hearts fluttering and huge truthful smiles... that is what it was for me :) someone from ONET Muzyka was saying that he could associate the screams of the female fans with the Beatlemania that once happened. The phenomenon of the popularity of Ed, a modest and very cute and energetic human being at only barely 27 years, is hard to discard. A decade ago Ed was playing in pubs, having small gigs, but look at this... fee years later the tickets for the Warsaw connect sold out so fast that the organisers opted to do another one (one day later) and again about 60.000 tickets sold out like fresh rolls! The whole stadium was filled out to the brim, leaving only a bit of free space only at the end of the stadiums plate - due to safety requirements. 

Ed went on stage at about 20:40-45. He went alone, just him and his acoustic guitar - one of the several he would use throughout the concert. A down to earth vibe always flowed from him, dressed up like most people that were in the stadium: jeans and a t-shirt... just as if he went out to a pub on a Saturday night :) The very first song Ed played was "Castle on the Hill" and as soon as he struck the first cords, the screams and singing of the whole stadium mingled and rose to the sky. It was loud! One of the loudest concerts I have been to! And guess what?! Ed said the same ;) he saved best for last, Warsaw being the last leg of the tour, and he stated that we were way louder than the Wembley crowd ;))) throughout the night he would reiterate our loudness and truth be told, my eardrums were about to burst several times. It sounded like the concert of the lifetime for many and I think many had to go to a laringologist the next day - I woke up with a sore throat from all the singing...

From the moment Ed stepped on stage all the people, as if a rod of lightning passed through us all, went up and started dancing and singing out loud. People in the seating areas, that were sitting down up to that moment, went up and started swaying with the music. And guess what? Nobody went down after! We all connected through Ed's music for 2 magical hours. "I knew that from the first song I would feel at home here", said Ed. These were not the first but also not the last words he said. There was plenty of announcements and comments, some of them quite lengthy and he has such a funny way to share stories of his life, it's just adorable! He talked about being shy during concerts, and how he admires people that can let go and dance and sing, while he would be just staring still and doing all the action in his mind :) I also loved him sharing his view of his favourite type of audience, including the Super Dad and the Super Boyfriend who is dragged to his concert. Ed also shared a story about the Polish band - BE MY - the supporter concert band, musicians who rented a house with Sheeran years ago :) my my... isn't the world small?! 
Every song that Ed Sheeran played in Warsw was taken to great heights and received as a hit, no matter if it was a hip hop song or a ballad. During the "A Team" the stadium was lit with thousand of flashes / mobile phones and voices raised to sing together the chorus with Ed. During "Thinking out Loud" Ed said that he would like all of us to sing, and if we don't know the lyrics of this song he has no clue what we are doing there ;)) As usual, there is some kind of action at every big concert, and the Posh fans had a Facebook event page where they organised this: The Flag of Poland being light up during "Perfect" - white and red cartons were distributed to the people seating and with the help of the landers from the phones, the audience constructed the Polish flag. Ed was surprised and we could all see a bright smile upon his lips and in his eyes, while playing the song, along with the thousand of us :) Magical! 
Of course the time went by and you would not feel where it slipped away yet... There he was, going away :( there was, as usual, an Encore and "Shape of You" was on the list and a lovely rendering of "You need me, I don't need you" :) and the (seeming) endless screams of the fans (whose voices were already almost gone). The feeling of being in a club, in a pub, participating in a huge Ed Sheeran gig is the feeling of the year! His down to earth attitude, his smiles and his funny stories, the vibrant music that he shares with us... everything makes us love Ed Sheeran, and if anyone compares him with the Beatles and the mania they produced... well they might be right :) but they should not point fingers and fret about it. What matters is that the hearts of people were lifted. What matters is the smile upon everyone's faces, the sparkle in their eyes, the wonderfully magical fresh vibes and the vibrant energy of the crowd. The feeling of togetherness. Ed creates soft songs, that through small (typical) words, create the right feeling. After his concert, I felt the need to attend the next day one as well... It was like a huge workout with a giant release of endorphins... and I would do it again. Anytime! 

Yours sincerely, 
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loved The Ed Sheeran Concert in Warsaw 

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