5 highlights from Ed Sheeran's secret NYC show
- TV Show
On the heels of his latest album crushing — no, but seriously, crushing — Spotify streaming records following its release as well as a Sunday night performance of his first Billboard Hot 100 No.1 “Shape Of You” at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, Ed Sheeran took over the stage of The Studio at New York City’s Webster Hall for an intimate, inspired concert on Monday night.
The show broadcast live on SiriusXM Hits 1 and The Pulse Channels and is the latest in Sirius XM’s “Secret Show” series (previous hosts have included Coldplay in the Hamptons and Bon Jovi in Miami, Fl.) and featured plenty of highlights. From an intimate four-song acoustic set to a bluesy rendition of “Feeling Good,” EW’s favorite moments are below.
Sheeran took the stage at the Studio at Webster Hall, just down the stairs from the larger Webster Hall. The venue holds 400 people, though it feels like less, and the vibe is more “friend’s basement that’s way cooler than yours” than your average concert venue. It’s a favorite of the Sirius XM “Secret Show” series; Grouplove played their set there in 2012, as did Cage the Elephant in 2013 and Young the Giant in 2014.
Though Sheeran’s pal and frequent collaborator (and known New Yorker) Taylor Swift didn’t make an appearance, someone from Swift’s inner circle sure did: ex-boyfriend Tom Hiddleston. Hiddleston stood in a gated-off area for the show’s entirety, chatting with friends (including Katie Couric, who was there with her daughter Ellie) and sipping from a red Solo cup.
Though Sheeran’s latest album, Divide, is still brand-new, the flame-haired Brit didn’t shy away from his older tunes and crafted a setlist that included both new and old favorites. He kicked off the nearly hourlong gig with Divide‘s “Castle on the Hill,” but followed it up with his very first single, “The A Team,” which he jokingly apologized to the audience for on behalf of iTunes, as he admitted he had recently realized how “annoying” it is that since the song begins with the letter “A,” it always plays first. He also debuted several medleys and blended 2014’s “Don’t” seamlessly into the new track “New Man,” and back again.
The acoustic set
When Ed Sheeran speaks, his dedicated fans listen. After several songs, Sheeran announced his desire to do a short acoustic set under one condition: the crowd remain silent. Miraculously, his audience complied, and Sheeran stood in the middle of the floor on a chair for a four-song set, spinning around for a full 360-degree view the entire time (somehow, he didn’t appear dizzy by the end). He played several favorites, including “I’m a Mess,” “Supermarket Flowers,” “Eraser,” and “Perfect,” the last of which he called his favorite song on Divide.
The Nina Simone cover
Sheeran brought out his bluesy side with a smooth cover of “Feeling Good,” originally made famous by Nina Simone but made popular again in 2005 by Michael Bublé. Of course, Sheeran infused some funky flair into the tune and bridged it effortlessly into “I See Fire,” the song he recorded in 2013 for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug‘s soundtrack.
The show will rebroadcast on Tuesday, March 7 at 5 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Hits 1, channel 2; on Tuesday, March 7 at 5:30 p.m. ET and 5:30 p.m. PT on The Pulse, channel 15; and through the SiriusXM app on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as on its website.