I think it’s safe to say that I’ve never seen Porto Fino get so much business in just roughly two hours. For anyone not familiar with the layout of Long Island’s Huntington Village, Porto Fino is an Italian restaurant just across from the town’s concert venue, The Paramount. And on this past Saturday evening in Huntington, it was like witnessing a much smaller scaled millennial-filled Beatlemania and I was just too old for their enthusiasm.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Netherlands and Costa Rica had just went into extra time when I received a screenshot of Ed Sheeran’s tweet that he was in my town from my friend (who actually is an Ed Sheeran fan) in New Jersey. It was in that moment that I had to make a decision that would catastrophically determine the rest of my Saturday night. It was a real “To be or not to be…” moment, I’ll tell you that. Alas, I ended up missing penalties and opted for eating garlic knots while in the queue for spontaneous Ed Sheeran tickets. I ended up befriending some hardcore Ed fans who turned out to be 11 years old and already much taller than I am—this ended up in her favor as her tall stature completely blocked my view for most of the show. Thank god for projection screens, right?
“But even more impressed—and appreciative—was Ed Sheeran himself who made it a point to thank The Paramount for putting the show together” Swarms of teenage fans were running from all directions to get in line for Ed’s spontaneous show and it was no surprise that he filled up the entire venue. And the security, by golly, they were just amazing at making sure this last minute queue was efficiently running. The amount of people wrapped around the block was insane and yet these security guards had that shit controlled. Even the exasperated parents who had rushed to get their kids to the venue were impressed with the way The Paramount staff were running this show. But even more impressed—and appreciative—was Ed Sheeran himself who made it a point to thank The Paramount for putting the show together, but more so he thanked the staff. He stated that they decided to put on this show at 6:22pm and it ended up running so smoothly (even if Ed started the show at 9:40). And in proper well-mannered English fashion, Ed Sheeran gave a round of applause for all of the venue staff and security who came from their homes and barbecues on such short notice. Ugh, what a cheeky gem.
Ed performed solo onstage and whether or not that’s how he usually performs, I wouldn’t know. What I do know however is that a one man show starring Ed Sheeran will surely be spectacular—and in a smaller venue like The Paramount? Well it’s just even better. It was stunning to see Ed Sheeran performing live and the lack of extra frills and distracting effects made it greater. And if he wanted the crowd to go quiet, it would go quiet without question. During “I See Fire,” it was eerily silent despite a few angry shhs from serious fans. But during his more popular songs like “Give Me Love” and “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” it was like a freaking sing-a-long in the venue.
As someone who has only ever heard snippets of Ed Sheeran’s songs from TV shows like The Vampire Diaries (that ball scene with Damon and Elena? You know what I mean), seeing him perform in this way became a serious perspective change. I had always known him as that funny ginger on Twitter that was also friends with One Direction and T. Swift but I never really knew him as anything more than that. (And purely because I never put in the effort to research him.) But after seeing Ed Sheeran perform live, it’s no doubt that the immense amount of talent this man has is just amazing. Between his captivating looped vocals and his adorable British charm, his performance at The Paramount just won me over.
At one point during the show, Ed said that he hopes to come back to the Paramount for many more shows. I hope he does too.