The VH1 You Oughta Know tour featuring Ed Sheeran, Passenger and Selah Sue hit Chicago last Tuesday and could be described as a European invasion on the Windy City. 99% of the audience at the sold out Riviera Theatre was composed of girls anxious to see British artist Ed Sheeran on his first North American tour. Ed Sheeran’s set later proved the excitement for the artist was justified, while Selah Sue’s performance showed that she has headliner potential herself.
Selah Sue is an artist to keep an eye on. Her voice can be compared to the voice that would emerge if Adele, Amy Winehouse and Nelly Furtado all got together and had a baby. The bluesy, pop-reggae infused sound that the young Belgian artist produces is easy to fall for. Opening the evening, Selah Sue sat in the middle of the stage and belted out hit after hit for an audience still a stranger to her music. Selah Sue has gained popularity in Europe- her debut album sold almost half a million copies- but she is not a household name in the US… yet. The artist’s raspy voice combined with her funky, unique beats made her performance my favorite of the night. Come back to Chicago Selah Sue, we’d love to see you again.
Next in line to take the stage Tuesday night was UK artist Passenger. Armed with just a guitar and microphone, Passenger played a quick pop/folk set for the crowd.
Ed Sheeran’s performance was the last of the night. Who is Ed Sheeran? You may have heard him on that one Victoria’s Secret commercial - I saw the commercial myself a few months ago and needed to know who was responsible for the song in the ad. Turns out, it was Ed Sheeran cooing Give Me Love. That was the song he chose to walk onto the stage with on Tuesday night. Every girl in the audience sang lyric after lyric right along with Ed Sheeran. It was impressive. Playing a set lasting almost two hours, the artist often finished off his songs with a jam session featuring only his guitar and hand to establish a beat. Ed Sheeran’s album + is composed of mostly ballads, and he smoothly and sweetly delivered each song. With lyrics such as “You are my one and only. You can wrap your fingers round my thumb and hold me tight,” the girls in the audience held on to every word that he sang. Ed Sheeran asked the audience for silence at one point so he could play “Kiss Me,” a song he shyly said he played for his grandparents (cue screaming teenage girls). Ed Sheeran executed the song flawlessly, proving the guy can definitely sing.