Summer of the Concert: Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, and Post-Modern Jukebox

I did a poor job following up on my blogging from the summer. One of the features I started and didn’t follow through on was my “Summer of the Concert.” To recap: I had arranged to go to several concerts this summer, starting with my attendance at the Kelly Clarkson show (my post on that show can be found here.) I also saw Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, and later in the year, Post-Modern Jukebox. The following is a recap of my experiences attending those shows:

Sam Smith
(Opening act: Jazmine Sullivan)

Jazmine Sullivan was a pleasant opening act. She did an acoustic set that highlighted her voice well. It just wasn’t very interesting. I give her a B-.

Sam Smith has one of the best voices I have ever heard both recorded and live. In fact, he sounded better in person than on his albums. One would hope that would be the case but its never a gurantee. I was so excited to go to his concert but also slightly nervous. Lets be serious, the risk of openly sobbing at “Stay With Me” or “Lay Me Down” or “I’ve Told You Now” is pretty damn high. His voice is absolutely gorgeous live. It is so rich and powerful. It was like he was not even trying. He was vocally impressive Sam did the whole album of In The Lonely Hour. He also did a few songs from his Nirvana EP. It was a stunning showing of vocals. He sings but there wasn’t much of an all around performance to take in. No fun staging or anything special. Sam just stood there and sang. Still, it was a damn good show. A-

Ed Sheeran
(Opening act: Christian Perri)

Christina Perri was a pleasent surprise. I will admit to not being her biggest fan: her music is kind of depressing. Not that I have a problem with that (see my love for the band Evanescence as proof of that.) I think “Jar of Hearts” just is too much for me. With that being said, this girl can sing her ass off. I was surprised at how powerful and full her voice sounded live. She ran through her hits, the highlights being these three stand outs, “Burning Gold,” “A Thousand Years,” and “Human.” She was great. B+

So If I thought Christina Perri was a surprise: Ed Sheeran literally knocked my socks off. If you are reading this, find a show of his and go. Ed plays live just by himself. He has a loop station, two microphones (one has an effect on it), his guitar, and his voice. Ed’s voice is amazing live. I wasn’t ready for how strong it sounded in person. He puts a lot of grit and passion behind his voice when he sings and it makes for a surprisingly emotional show. The 1-2 punch of “One” and “Photograph” (both from X) was powerful and emotional. Where Sam Smith is a singer with a strong, awe inspiring voice, Ed is a singer with a great voice with a ton of emotion behind it. Ed’s the type of singer who will make you feel not only through the lyrics of his songs but the passion in which he plays and sings. He has such an endearing personality too. His interactions with the crowd were so engaging and funny. He also brought out Christina Perri for a duet, which sounded amazing. Seriously, go see Ed Sheeran live sometime during your lifetime. A+ all the way.

Post-Modern Jukebox

It is no secret that I am a pretty big fan of American Idol. Yes, still, and I will be terribly sad when the show ends early next year. Earlier this year on Season 14 contestant Joey Cook did a cover of Iggy Azaelia’s song “Fancy” which was inspired by the arrangement that Post-Modern Jukebox did on YouTube. After seeing the source cover, I discovered this group and was instantly hooked. Their retro covers of current hits and classics are inspired and really fun to listen to. Seeing them live was really great. If you are a music lover, this is a great show to go to. Furthermore, the American Idol fan in me was too excited at the fact that Haley Reinhart (pictured above, Season 10’s 3rd place finisher), the aforementioned Joey Cook, and Casey Abrahms (Season 10) were 3 of the vocalists at the show. Highly suggested. A-

So ends my summer of the concert. It was a ton of fun. Proof that my theory of paying for experiences and not for materials is correct. I am excited for more concerts!

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