The concert opened with home-grown talent Callum Burrows, better known as Saint Raymond. Having already had success over in LA with HAIM, he commanded the stage with the confidence of someone who was headlining. Accompanied by his passionate band, Saint Raymond clearly felt at home. Turning the crowd into a sea of stars, the Capital FM Arena held up their phones to the acoustic song ‘As We Are Now’, dedicated to his friends leaving to go to university – reminding us how he is only 19 years old.
The concert opened with home-grown talent Callum Burrows
Ed Sheeran was as punctual as he was energetic. The crowd erupted as he launched into ‘I’m A Mess’, from his new album Multiply. Amongst the thunder of stomping feet and cheering from his fans, the most prominent sound was that of squealing adolescent girls. “Nottingham was the first arena I ever played in”, he admitted. “I felt like I had a lot more going on in Nottingham before lots happened everywhere else”. Cue the crowd exploding into a wild frenzy.
The crowd erupted as he launched into ‘I’m A Mess’
The fourteen massive festival-style LED screens caricatured each song adding an appealing visual element. Towards the end of Ed’s motion picture hit ‘I See Fire’, a fire-breathing dragon meandered around the screens as if coming to life behind the lone Ed Sheeran, strumming his guitar. Although it was just him, his guitar and his loop pedal, Ed’s liquid voice made a whole band’s worth of noise. In support of this, he also took on role of choir master as he orchestrated the crowd best to suit his songs. “Sing your heart out like they just put S Club 7 on in the big tent of your favourite festival!”
a fire-breathing dragon meandered around the screens as if coming to life behind the lone Ed Sheeran
After the raucous of his more energetic songs, Ed was able to demand the admiration of the crowd with his folk-ballad classics that made him famous. ‘Kiss Me’ stood out for Nottingham as a favourite, as the 10,000 seat Capital FM arena shrank to feel as though he was serenading each ticket holder. “Kiss me like you want to be loved” struck the hearts of every member of the crowd. However, the nicest thing about Ed is that his lyrics are sincere, and he does not consider himself to be a heart-throb, as he later raps “I’m a singer that you never wanna see shirtless” during ‘Take It Back’. It’s refreshing that he has not grown vain with fame, and we can cling to this idea of him as a modest musician despite being one of pop’s elite.
‘Kiss Me’ stood out for Nottingham as a favourite
Ed’s penultimate song was a ten-minute rendition of his second major single, ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’. The speak-sing classic his fans in awe of Ed’s sheer energy and passion. His expert use of the loop pedal and drumming of his guitar drove the crowd wild. Finishing with chart-hit ‘Sing’, Ed once again left the arena wanting more as he left the stage without warning, leaving us to sing alone.
During the set, he mentioned a stint in Stealth five years ago where only two fans turned up. Behind, was the faint squeal of a girl say “yay me”. This is testament to the long-lasting support of Nottingham fans, and highlights how far he has come.
By Megan Bryant and Rachel Berkoff
Photo credit: Nottingham Post