By Courtney E. Smith
Multiply Day, on June 13, where Ed Sheeran took over several iconic New York City locations to play shows from smallest to biggest, was a massive success for his fans, the Sheerios. But the climax of the day almost didn’t happen.
We told you that Ed on Ellis, where the British singer played a gig on Ellis Island, the former inspection area where new immigrants to the U.S. came right up until 1954, was a rain or shine event. Then it rained. And rained. And rained. The first wave of fans meant to hit the island got stuck on a ferry in a thunderstorm and absolutely soaked by rain. By the time he took the stage to play for the crowd of about 300, the whole island was a bit of a mud pit but everyone took it all in stride — even the ladies who came wearing sandals and strappy heels. Luckily, the weather all cleared up in time for Sheeran to take the stage.
RELATED: Ed on Ellis Photo Gallery
Here are five true things that happened that night — some of them are things the audience didn’t even know about!
1. He Played Extra Long
We all expected about 45 minutes and 8 songs, but midway through his set Sheeran told the crowd he felt like playing extra long, in spite of his long day that started at 7AM. One of the added tracks he played was a traditional Irish folk song called “The Parting Glass,” a bonus hidden track from +. It was displaced by “Au Lang Syne,” but for a time was so pervasive that it was the most popular parting song in Ireland and Scotland. It dates back to the 1600s, which makes it much older than Ellis Island.
2. It Was Ed’s First Visit to Ellis Island
Sheeran told us, in an interview before the show, that this was his first trip to historic Ellis Island. His green room was the entire second floor of the Ellis Island Museum, known as the Registry Room. Fans milled around only one floor below, waiting for the show to start. From the stage, Sheeran told us that many of his family of Sheerans had been through Ellis Island.
3. Ed Played Three New Songs
The crowd was treated to several tracks from +, including “Lego House,” “The A Team” and “Give Me Love.” We also got to hear his cover of Nina Simone’s “Be My Husband,” his track from The Hobbit soundtrack “I See A Fire” and his song from The Fault In Our Stars, “All The Stars.” On top of that he played three new songs from X: “Don’t,” “Sing,” and “Thinking Out Loud.”
4. In the Zombie Apocolypse, Ed’s Weapon of Choice Is a Machine Gun
Before he went out to play, Sheeran kindly answered a series of questions from his fans that Radio.com solicited on on Twitter and Instagram. Read our Twitter feed to find out if he answered your question — all the answers were tweeted out during his set on Ellis Island.
5. It Ended With a Bang, Literally
The last song in Sheeran’s set was his new single, “Sing.” But instead of doing an encore, the crowd was treated to a surprise ending: a fireworks show. Around 15 minutes of explosions in the sky went off for the crowd and one special lady: the Statue of Liberty, whose face was towards the display, which originated out of New Jersey.
Radio.com (@radiodotcom) June 14, 2014