Ed Sheeran delivers amazing concert for fans

Your first concert is a big deal. On Jan. 19, I had the experience of seeing “the ginger Jesus,” Ed Sheeran, live at Stubb’s BBQ.

By 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon, I was eager to go to Stubb’s. My sister and I had been sitting around my best friend Sarah’s house for four hours impatiently waiting for her older sister, Caroline, to get home. In our never-ending wait, we came up with a master plan. Sarah is a proud owner of an XXL shirt reading “check meowt” with a picture of a cat. We decided to write “Austin loves you” and sign our twitter usernames on the back. Then we were going to throw the shirt on stage for Ed. Genius, I know. As soon as Caroline walked in the door, we forced her to get ready as fast as possible. This included timing her shower and yelling at her as she put on makeup. In a quick 20 minutes, she was ready and we were sitting in the backseat of the car. On the way, we picked up Caroline’s friend and the five of us girls were excited and cramped in the backseat.

Being three hours early to the concert, we expected to be some of the first people there. Oh, how we were wrong. Traffic was stop-and-go as soon as we drove downtown. Once we were relatively close to the venue, we decided to get out of the car. We got some strange looks as we piled out of the car in the middle of the street. As we walked closer to the venue, we saw a line of people wrapping around the building. A few crazy fans sat at the front of the line with sleeping bags and folding chairs. Clearly they had been here all day. We continued our journey to the end of the line around the corner, down the block, and all the way to the side of Highway I-35. We took our place in the end of the line and began our three-hour wait.

We were desperate for anything to keep us entertained. We couldn’t use our phones for fear that they would run out of battery before the concert. So somehow we decided it would be a smart idea to tell each other where we had purchased every item of clothing on our bodies. That lasted a good five minutes. Then all of the sudden, the line started moving. With two-and-a-half hours still remaining until the doors were supposed to open, everyone was very confused as to why we were moving forward. But the line pushed ahead, turning into more of a mob. The crowd buzzed as we were stuck in a never ending cycle of stop-and-go. Mysteriously, we ended up much closer than we started. Time continued to crawl on as we gossiped, laughed and tried to stay calm.

Finally, it was 7 p.m. and the doors opened. As we rushed toward the entrance, girls were being shoved into walls and mothers were yelling at people that were trying to take their daughters’ places in line. After a few minutes of hectic shoving, we were in.

Being there three hours early paid off. We were in the first third of the crowd, close enough that if you stood on your tippy-toes and the heads in front of you aligned just right, you could see the stage perfectly.

The first opening act was an Irish man named Foy Vance. He sang songs I had never heard before with a thick accent. Also, I couldn’t see him above the sea of heads and I was very frustrated. It wasn’t a great way to start the night. The second opening act, Rizzle Kicks, came on about 20 minutes later. They definitely improved my mood. Two rappers with British accents, running around the stage and dancing around really started the concert off great.

Ed stepped on stage and shrieks filled the venue. He asked us to be his Austin Gospel Choir for the night and he told us he would need us to be quiet at times and sing as loud as we could at others. He stood on stage with nothing but his guitar and started singing. The crowd snapped when he needed background instruments, yelled when he asked us to sing along and clapped with him. He sounded exactly the same live as he did on his album. At one point during the show, he lowered his microphone, stopped playing the guitar and just sang to the crowd. I turned to look at Sarah in awe. I couldn’t believe this was actually happening. He continued on with his set, and began to rap freestyle. I knew he was very pleased with himself because he even laughed at some of his own lines. When he stopped freestyling and started to sing songs from his album “+” again, he just let the crowd take it away, as we were almost out powering his voice anyway. The crowd was starting to get outrageously loud, and Ed decided to calm us down. He asked us to be quiet and tell the people around us to be quiet as well. He advised us to lightly stroke their arm and ask politely if they weren’t cooperating to his wishes. He then began to sing the most beautiful song I have ever heard, called “Small Bump.” The song is about a miscarriage, and a baby that was just four months away from being born. The concert continued on, and Ed’s voice continued to spread happiness to his adoring fans.

I held my phone over my head and videotaped the entire concert. Consequently, I had to delete every single app on my phone to open up enough space for the videos, but it was worth it. Although I was in the center of a wild mob, I could see for the majority of the show. When the show was coming to the end, Sarah jumped on my back and chucked the shirt on stage. Sadly, it didn’t quite reach, but we still had a plan.

My throat ached, my feet were numb, and the concert was over. People began to file out of the venue and Sarah and I pushed our way to the front. We spotted the shirt lying in a ball on the ground. We picked it up and searched for someone to give it to. We noticed a man in casual clothing helping to pick up the set. We walked over to him and asked him how we could get the shirt to Ed. He told us we could give it to him and he would make sure Ed got it. We handed over the shirt and walked away with huge smiles on our faces, feeling quite accomplished. Although we may never know if Ed got the shirt, the possibility that he might know of our existence was enough for us. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll see a picture of him wearing the XXL grey cat t-shirt.

We ended the night sitting around Sarah’s kitchen table in disbelief with P. Terry’s burgers in our stomachs, Ed Sheeran shirts in our hands and memories of the perfect night filling our heads