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  • Damaris Chanza

Attending Ed Sheeran's Concert at Met Life Stadium

This was my first concert ever, and I don't know what my expectations were, but Ed Sheeran exceeded them.

It's no secret I'm a big Ed Sheeran fan. I wouldn't say I'm a crazy fan girl, but a big fan nonetheless. I've listened to every song, watched countless interviews and performances, and even dedicated an entire blog post to sharing my thoughts on the visual album for Subtract, solely because I wanted to revel not just in the lyrics and melody but the absolute artistry that went into its creation.

Something that isn't as well known is that I've never been to a concert. In college, I went to a classical orchestra concert for an assignment, and I've seen local artists like Jay Valeyo, King Trippy, and OnlyGotDope at different shows and competitions. Still, I consider those more performances than full-blown concerts.

When I heard Ed Sheeran's Mathematics Tour was making a stop at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey, you would think I would be ecstatic, but I was hesitant. The tickets weren't cheap, and it was just after the holidays, so my wallet was still recovering. I wasn't ready to commit, but the closer the date came, the more I thought about purchasing tickets.

Then, as if she had read my mind from across the state, my friend, Nana, texted me, and by the end of that conversation, we bought tickets to Ed Sheeran's concert and the Big Time Rush concert at the PNC Bank Arts Center. Not only was I going to my first concert ever seeing my favorite musician, but I was going to a second concert for the band I watched from the top bunk of my childhood bedroom, all a few weeks apart and with my best friend.

The days leading up to the concert were stressful. Nana realized she had to take a practice test for her MCATs on the same day, making her question if she should go to the show. Finally, she decided she could make it work, only to wake up coughing and sneezing that morning. The concert started at 6 pm, and I didn't know until 2 pm if she could make it. The uncertainty made me sweat because I had to leave at 3 to arrive on time.

Just moments after Nana confirmed, I accidentally shredded my right thumb on a razor blade. That slowed me down, and well, we were late. Because of the traffic into the stadium and the line at the bathroom, we completely missed Dylan's set, but frankly, we didn't know who she was, so we weren't too bothered.

We found our seats up in section 300, the nosebleed seats. The stage setup was excellent, even with the giant pole that was dead center in our line of sight. When Khalid came on stage, the bar covered most of the screen, which was disappointing considering, from our view, he looked like an ant on stage. That didn't stop Nana and me from vibing and singing along with Khalid to Young Dumb and Broke, Love Lies and Lovely by Billie Eilish.

As soon as the set ended, we ran to get some subpar and overpriced chicken tenders that everyone was eating. Eventually, a countdown came on screen, and the excitement was palpable.

Finally, Ed Sheeran came on stage singing BLOW. I have seen videos of him performing with the loop pedal, but watching it live, even from far away, was impressive. The showmanship was incredible. Even with my throat drying out from yelling louder than I've ever screamed, we couldn't help but keep singing. When he played Photograph and Perfect, I was ready to cry. I had all the emotions.

When Ed Sheeran played Bad Habits, the show's last song, the loop pedal crashed. So he played it again, and if I'm being honest, if the loop pedal had crashed again, I would have happily watched him play it a third time.

Despite all the stress, I couldn't have asked for a better first concert experience or a better person to have that experience with. I can't wait to do it all again to see Big Time Rush.

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