Number 4 and I have been doing a birthday “experience” for her birthday for about the last five years.
This year I surprised her with tickets to an Ed Sheeran concert.
She was pretty psyched.
It was her first concert, and the first one I’d been to in a long time.
He was playing at the MetLife Stadium where the Giants and the Jets play in New Jersey. The stadium is about an hour and a half from our house.
As soon as she saw the stadium, Number 4 kept saying, “ED SHEERAN IS IN THERE. ED SHEERAN IS IN THERE!!!”
Then she tearfully said to me, “Mom, I am so lucky. This is such a big deal. I AM SO LUCKY, MOM!!!”
We did not have great seats. They were about as high up as you could be. But we were at least close to the stage. Number 4 didn’t mind. Neither did I.
We were both just super happy to be there.
If you ever have the opportunity to go to an Ed Sheeran concert… GO.
I’ve seen Rush and Madonna and U2 and Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins and James Taylor and Melissa Etheridge and 10,000 Maniacs and Pink Floyd and Eric Clapton and Keb ‘Mo and ZZ Top and the Blues Travelers and the Black Crowes and so many others. So I have some frame of reference. I’ve seen some of the biggest names in music.
And this was one of the best concerts I have ever been to.
I am 22 years older than Ed Sheeran. I am old enough to be his mother. But I didn’t feel old.
There were kids younger than Number 4 there and women (and men) way older than me there. If Number 5 (who is 9 years old) could tolerate staying up late, I’d totally take her to this concert. It was family friendly (i.e. no profanity) and fun and the crowd was great and the whole entire experience was just awesome.
The music was amazing. He played every song you’ve heard on the radio. He opened with Castle On The Hill, closed with Sing and came out for an encore with Shape Of You.
But what was really impressive was that it was just him on stage. No backup singers, no musicians, just him and his guitar and some backup tracks looped on some sort of machine with pedals that he operated with his foot.
He was a true one man band, and he was awesome.
But he was also so humble and gracious.
He seemed to just be so happy and grateful that people wanted to be there with him and give him an opportunity to play music.
He explained that this was the biggest venue he had ever played at, and he seemed to be as awestruck to be playing there as Number 4 was to be seeing and hearing him in the flesh.
He stopped along the way to tell stories, and you really felt like he was talking directly to you and like you were hanging out with a friend.
A really cool, accepting, nonjudgmental friend.
He encouraged everyone to sing (even if off-key) and to dance and to not worry about what anyone else thought about you.
He was just so awesome.
Number 4 listened to him. She sang and danced her butt off.
She enjoyed and soaked in every second of the concert.
As we walked out of the concert when it was all done, Number 4 looked at me and said, “Mom, this is the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to top our birthday experience at the beach last year.
But now I think my only worry is that there is no chance we are ever going to top this one.
Thanks, Ed Sheeran.
When someone asks Number 4 what the first concert she ever saw was, she’s gonna tell everyone it was you.
Thanks for making her first concert experience something she’s never gonna forget.
And thanks for letting this mom be a part of an amazing birthday memory.