Ellie Goulding @ The Echo Arena
Tickets at the ready, we made our way to the docks. The sun began to set, laying a golden light upon the Wheel of Liverpool, as we queued for what felt like a year. Once inside the arena, we found ourselves a spot right next to the stage barriers. We were in the prime position to see songstress Ellie Goulding perform tracks from her latest album, Delirium.
The very same day I had learned that, following the Delirium World Tour, Goulding would be taking a break from music; I soon realised that this might be the last time I would see her perform, at least for a few years. I had seen her perform at numerous locations in the past, with each show increasing in size and production. As I contemplated how the next two hours would top her previous shows, the lights in the arena dimmed and the curtains fell.
A hazy white light shone onto the audience, accompanied by angelic vocals, as the show introduction began. Without warning, the image of Goulding flashed on screen like digital interference, which got the entire audience screaming. Then, shielded by golden curtains, Goulding rose up from the stage in her signature all-black attire – her voice permeating the misty air in the arena – the crowd went crazy. This was nothing like I had seen before – it was clear her style had matured since the previous tour; the show felt instantly bigger, louder and more energetic than ever before.
Kicking off, she began with Aftertaste which seamlessly followed on from the theatrics of the show intro. Something which I was pleased to see again was Goulding’s signature drum solo, making an appearance half way through the first song. From then on, songs lifted from her latest album were not in short supply; Holding on for Life and Something in the Way You Move appeared early to get the audience in high spirits.
Then something we weren’t expecting: the lights slowly died and Goulding performed an acoustic version of Devotion. It seemed rather odd that this delicate song, preceded with so much energy, worked so well – the acoustic guitar perfectly complimented her sweet-sounding, yet powerful, voice. Out of nowhere, the guitar sounds faded away into the darkness of the stage, along with Goulding herself. Black turned to red as the lights began to flash, precisely timed with the visuals of the show. Goulding’s face was displayed on screen, moving in time to the music, as elements of a song from her previous album were played over the top, giving the whole section of the show an air of mystery and wonder.
Of course, the show wasn’t without a couple of soothing ballads to keep the rest of the fans entertained throughout; Explosions and I Know You Care made an appearance mid-way through, followed shortly by Army and even Your Song (famously sung by Goulding to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, during their wedding reception in 2011) appeared in the encore. Finishing the show, Goulding sung a gorgeous extended version of Love Me Like You Do, leaving the audience feeling pumped up, but very emotional none the less.
The show, without a doubt, exceeded my expectations – whilst she seems to have left a lot of the popular songs from the first album in the past, with this tour Ellie Goulding is clearly looking towards the future and, indeed, the future looks bright for her. Masterfully combining slower heart-wrenching numbers with up-tempo beats, she is able to create a show that not only has every member of the audience singing and dancing, but also feeling every emotion behind every single lyric. If you haven’t seen her live, I urge you to do so immediately… you will not regret it!
Also, last year I reviewed Ellie Goulding’s latest album Delirium, for Ellipsis. If you’re interested, check it out here: http://ellipsisliverpool.com/2015/11/09/delirium-a-review-of-the-latest-album-from-ellie-goulding/