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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 15, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 16
Ellie Goulding spreads a little delirium at Key Arena
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Ellie Goulding spreads a little delirium at Key Arena

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

ELLIE GOULDING
KEY ARENA
April 2


Last fall, when Ellie Goulding pulled the curtain on Bumbershoot, headlining the final night of the Labor Day weekend festival, she told an audience of thousands gathered at Memorial Stadium that she'd return next year with a new album and another tour. She wasn't lying. Seven months later, Goulding returned to Seattle with a new album in tow.

The British pop star performed to a near capacity crowd at Key Arena on April 2 with a completely different show than the one in September. This concert was longer and included backup dancers, light choreography, glitzy stage props, a catwalk and captivating imagery fitted onto an LED screen with two smaller screens high above both sides of the stage.

Following a brief video montage to 'Intro (Delirium),' an instrumental track on her latest album, Delirium, the show kicked off with 'Aftertaste' as Goulding appeared suddenly on stage behind two giant, crisscrossed golden drapes that were abruptly brought down. Wearing tight, black leather short-shorts with a matching long-sleeve shirt, the petite-framed blonde maneuvered quickly through the next few songs, 'Holding on for Life,' 'Goodness Gracious,' and 'Something in the Way You Move,' which found Goulding dancing flirtatiously with her dancers, who appeared to be all men.

For 'Outside,' the multi-Grammy nominated artist worked the stage from side to side as a series of green strobe lights flashed rapidly and pinball arcade-like graphics were displayed on the big screen.

'How is everyone doing tonight, good?' asked an out-of-breath Goulding. She didn't interact much with fans during this show, maybe due to shyness or just trying to concentrate on the performance. But it would've been nice to have her connect more with the audience. This is what separates her and Katy Perry, who has a great stage personality. I didn't really feel any connection with Goulding; she just went from one song to the next.

'Devotion' was delivered unplugged, as the London-based artist strummed a white acoustic guitar and dreamy sequences flashed behind her on the LED screen. It looked very similar to a hair-coloring commercial, where the women shake their heads in slow motion from side to side.

Similar to how it sounds on the album, 'Keep on Movin' had a futuristic, trippy feel with Goulding and dancers wearing neon-colored one-piece outfits. This outer-worldly theme continued to the next number, 'Don't Need Nobody.' Call me picky, but I wasn't thrilled with the singer-songwriter's mellow, piano-backed rendition of 'Lights,' where Goulding wore a pure white dress with bare feet and angelic images flashing behind her. I much prefer the original version, an electro-pop number that you can actually dance to.

'Army' and 'Codes' were executed well, as was the very '80s-esque 'Don't Panic' and the lively 'We Can't Move to This,' not to mention digging her heels into Calvin Harris' 'I Need Your Love,' a track she's featured on, where Goulding sported high-waisted black shorts and a super tight top. 'Burn' concluded the main set of the concert.

Two big fan favorites were squeezed into the encore, a very uppity rendition of 'Anything Can Happen' and 'Love Me Like You Do,' where Goulding donned an aluminum wrapper-like shawl and pair of wings (if I was seeing correctly). Fans sang and danced happily to both songs.

As expected, there were a high percentage of Gay men who attended the Key Arena show. Since launching her career in 2009, Goulding has been a strong ally of the LGBT community and celebrated the passing of Gay marriage last year with memorable posts on social media.

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