Things I learnt at the Ed Sheeran concert

This past weekend I attended the much-hyped Ed Sheeran concert in Johannesburg.  I learnt some stuff about myself and people in general.

#1 – I am not an Ed Sheeran fan

I wanted to get this one off my chest as quickly as possible.  It’s true – I am not a fan. This statement has been met with shocked gasps since the tickets went on sale.  People look at me like I am some sort of mentally challenged leper when I tell them.

I have nothing against him and can concede that he is wildly talented.  Based on the way he interacted with the crowd, he seems like a genuinely nice guy too.  However I am not a fan of pop music in general. I do not connect with his lyrics at all.  It’s just one of those things – sorry.

#2 – It’s nice to do something nice

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One of these people was super excited about the show.  It’s not the person on the left.

After point #1, you may be wondering why I was there in the first place.  Long story, but in a nutshell, we’d tagged along with a friend who was a massive fan but didn’t have anyone to accompany her to the concert.  

It was kinda nice to do something that made someone else’s day.

#3 – Crowds are the same regardless of music genre

A while ago I wrote a post about how badly behaved crowds were at various rock concerts I’ve attended.  The Ed Sheeran concert confirmed that musical genre has nothing to do with crowd behaviour.

During one particularly quiet song with a fair amount of gentle harmonising, Mr Sheeran asked the crowd to be as silent as possible.  This was met with a long, high-pitched, reverberating scream that echoed around the stadium, effectively drowning out the start of the song.

The bar lines were long, queue jumpers abounded and I was kicked in the head several times.  Yes, that’s right – I was kicked in the head at an Ed Sheeran concert!  Because it seems as though walking the 2 extra steps to reach the stairs was too much effort for the people sitting behind me, who opted to rather squeeze between my seat and the balustrade all night long.  

I think it’s safe to say that specific musical genre has nothing to do with it – it’s simply just how people think they can behave at concerts.

#4 – When you’re not invested in the music, you notice other things

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Apparently I notice the most random things…

I love watching people and I find it interesting how very different folk are united behind a common interest.  The audience members ranged wildly in race, age and wardrobe choice. It was, perhaps, one of the most diverse crowds I have ever seen, so good on Ed Sheeran for having mass appeal.

I also noticed that our little group of three were all wearing the same shoes.  And there was a rainbow that appeared over the stadium which was pretty cool too.

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#5 – Very few people are able to “live in the moment”

About fifteen years ago, I travelled to Bolivia.  I had a camera in one hand and a video camera in the other, all in an effort to capture as much as possible.  Paradoxically, in my effort to record the experience, I realised upon my return home that I do not remember much about the trip.  Since then, I no longer record video and take only a handful of photos in order to free up my time and attention to actually enjoy the experience of being wherever I happen to be.

I find it really sad that people feel the need to place a screen between themselves and reality.  They’ve paid a lot of money to be at the live show of someone who will in all likelihood not tour here again.  But instead of watching and listening, they’re fussing over their smartphones for the entire duration of the concert, trying to record it so they can “remember it later”.  Or, even worse, hoping to “go viral” on social media.

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The only photo I took while Ed Sheeran was performing

Here is my advice to you.  Stop worrying about your social media feed.  Put away your phone. Watch the stage.  Listen to the music. Feel the wind on your face and the warmth radiating from the person next to you.  Absorb the excitement of the crowd. Commit all of that to memory and you’ll have something more meaningful than a blurry video with distorted sound that you will probably never watch again.  

If you want to watch the concert on a screen, get the DVD.

#6 – Mrs Megamalist is my hero

In the last decade, despite numerous assertions that she does not care at all about music, I have dragged Mrs Megamalist to scores of concerts and festivals.  I have this to say to her:

I understand now why you ask me how many songs are in the set and then spend your time counting them down.  Stadium shows are a really long day out and there is a lot of waiting around while nothing happens – it’s pretty damn boring.  Thank you for suffering in silence all these years as you entertain my desire to see my favourite bands.  You are truly long suffering and have bucket-loads of patience.

The shoe was firmly on the other foot this time around, proving that one can never truly understand someone else’s point until they themselves are in that situation.  As such, moving forward, I will stop insisting that “you’ll enjoy it when we’re there” and take you into consideration a little more than I clearly have in the past (well, I’ll try, at least)!

As with all concerts, after months of waiting I can’t believe it’s all over. I started out as being “not a fan” and the live concert has not convinced me otherwise.  I did have an ok time though – I guess Ed Sheeran is not the worst.  But would I go again?  Well, that’s a hard no from me.  I’d rather let a true fan take my seat next time around.

Have you attended an Ed Sheeran concert?  Perhaps you’ve been at a show you were not really enthused about going to?  Let me know below!

6 thoughts on “Things I learnt at the Ed Sheeran concert

  1. theflatbattery says:

    Enjoy all music while you can.
    Glad you got something out of the concert, even if it is not the music itself. what we wouldn’t do for the important people in our lives . . .
    I enjoyed classical music very much and always wanted to attend a live performance of a philharmonic orchestra, there were however always some excuse. Then I lost my hearing. Now listening to music in general is painful experience by comparison. All the audible frequencies are squashed into 124 frequencies by my cochlear implant electronics, basically resulting in a flat noise. I do still remember how the various instruments sound and watch DVDs in silence, yes, I watch music, however strange that may sound.
    Enjoy the music while you can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megan D'Arcy says:

      I agree fully!
      Thank you for sharing your personal experience. I am so sad that you are no longer able to enjoy music as you used to. Although I take my hearing for granted, one of my biggest fears is losing it!
      You are completely correct – we need to enjoy music while we can!

      Like

  2. Laureen says:

    I’m with you there! I’m not a fan of Ed Sheeran either, nor of stadium concerts. I have been to a couple though. Last year I was invited to a Tina Turner tribute by a work friend. I went because she’s my friend, and not because I like Tina Turner- I’m not a fan of her music, but I do appreciate that she was a good singer. While not in a stadium (it was in a theatre in Bournemouth), I did manage to enjoy it a little and sang along with some of the more well-known songs: Simply the Best, Nutbush City, etc. The Tina Turner lookalike did a pretty good job impersonating her. But I don’t think I’d go again…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megan D'Arcy says:

      Hey Laureen – thanks for sharing!
      I hear you! I will never stop going to live music and I love experiencing new stuff that pushes me out of my comfort zone a little. BUT, whether it’s because I’m getting more discerning or less tolerant (?) as I get older, I am definitely going to be more selective of what I go to moving forward – especially if it’s a stadium show!

      Like

  3. Diane Roberts says:

    Ah Megan….. So sad.
    The girls and i went on Saturday i took my sister who didnt even know who he was until i offered her my husband ticket….
    For me to sit at a concert and watch my 10 year old daughter beam from ear to ear and sing every single song word for word….. Nothing can replace that…. Next time we will have to take you with us

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megan D'Arcy says:

      Hey Diane, Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. I am so please that you and the kids had such a great time!
      I did enjoy hanging out with the people I was with – just not a fan of the music, I’m afraid.
      But I guess the world would be a very boring place if we all liked the exact same stuff! Viva diversity! 🙂

      Like

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