British singer Ed Sheeran brought his “X” tour to the Xfinity Center in Mansfield on Tuesday night as the last show of the year for the outdoor venue. The show was a hit with fans and was a great way to close out the 2014 concert season.
Opening for Sheeran was British group Rudimental, which is made up of nine singers and instrumentalists. Though they were very good and no doubt talented, the group seemed a bit all over the place and too immature for a tour of Sheeran’s caliber. Their set was too dark, they didn’t make use of the large screens and they’re hype man was a little bit too much for the small stage. If you were sitting in the lawn seats, you were out of luck as it was impossible to see the group from that vantage point.
Luckily, Sheeran upped the ante. While many artists would choose to appear on stage in a dramatic fashion, Sheeran chose the simple route of just walking out as if he were walking into an intimate open mic with friends. He got right into the music and remained the sole person on stage throughout the show. There aren’t many performers who can captivate a large audience with nothing more than their voice and a guitar but Sheeran did just that and he nailed it.
If you aren’t familiar with Sheeran, then you might not realize that he is a multi-faceted performer. He sings, plays guitar and even raps. Yes, that’s right, Sheeran is a rapper — and a good one at that.
During “Don’t” Sheeran showed off his impressive skills and even freestyled in verses from Chris Brown’s hit “Loyal” as well as the 1990’s hit “No Diggity” by Blackstreet. The song, about a cheating girlfriend, is rumored to be about British singer Ellie Goulding but that has never been confirmed by Sheeran.
That wasn’t the only time Sheeran showed off his rapping. He also rapped during “Take It Back”, which saw him boast about being on a sold-out tour, and got feisty on “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.”
It wasn’t all rapping and attitude, however. Sheeran slowed things down for “Lego House”, “The A Team” and “One”. When he sings, it seems like there is a whole different side to him that is gentle and caring and it is very appealing.
Sheeran is quite mellow in general but he has a tougher side of him, which he showed quite often during the show. Sometimes it seemed a little much for him to sing or rap about mature subjects such as sex, drugs and getting drunk when the majority of his fans are tweens and teens. That being said, he is a 23-year-old male who writes from experience and his songs reflect that.
It’s quite amazing to see how far Sheeran has come since he opened for Taylor Swift on her “Red” tour. Headlining his own tour and having massive mainstream success probably wasn’t something this red-haired Brit ever expected but his fans adore him and after this show it’s easy to see why