Ellie Goulding – Delirium World Tour – Manchester Arena
Having seen Ellie Goulding perform at last year’s V Fest, I was eager to see how the singer would handle having an arena all to herself. Ellie is a self confessed nervous bird, and though her festival performance was full of energy and enthusiasm, there’s nothing quite like 20,000 screaming fans just for you to rattle the nerves and pile on the pressure.
With the lights down and the usual tense music and mysterious figures moving around on stage, Ellie took to a rising platform, hidden behind golden silk strips hanging from the ceiling, and towered above a sea of her loyal subjects. Though she looked a little shocked when the curtains fell (like she wasn’t yet used to performing for crowds of this size), both crowd and singer seemed equally pleased to see each other. The platform lowered and she launched straight into Aftertaste, an upbeat track and one of the favourites from her latest album.
Nerves either dissipated or well hidden, Ellie brought that energy we’d seen the previous summer and danced her way across the stage, eyes closed and head back and she span from one side to the other. Her backup dancers followed her around for a few tracks, 4 hunky men who had the obviously horrific job of rubbing up against a hot pants clad Ellie Goulding every now and then, but then disappeared for others, allowing Ellie time to stand alone and do what she’s good out, belting out high impact party jams and raving along just as hard as the fans.
Not overly talkative at the start, the singer soon became more familiar with her audience and chatted away about Saturday nights and having a good time. With tracks like Something In The Way You Move, Outside and Keep On Dancin’ it was hard for the crowd to do anything other than that. For her slower tempo songs like Devotion, Explosions and How Long Will I Love You it was great to see that other side to the bouncing ball of energy on stage as Ellie stepped out on the centre stage in the middle of crowd, proving she’s not only fantastic to watch but also a phenomenal live singer.
Once or twice, Ellie spoke about the good old days of shows before smartphones, and promptly asked if the crowd would put theirs away for a few tracks and enjoy the moment for themselves instead of through a screen. Though I always love to snap a pic or two and maybe take a short video, I agree with Ellie’s stance on this subject. With (most) phones away and Ellie out on her centre platform, there was a real intimate feeling to the show despite the large crowd.
She sped up the energy again and her overly affectionate dancers were back to ramp up the tempo with the likes of Figure 8, On My Mind and Burn.
With fans screaming for more Ellie came back for the obvious encore and took the crowd deep into a beautiful sing-along of Elton John’s Your Song, followed by the dancey and much loved Anything Could Happen.
The only thing I have to nitpick at (just as I did with the V Fest review) is once again she ended her set with the soundtrack for that absolutely tragic movie the world horrifically let happen. Yes, Love Me Like You Do (for 50 Shades of Grey) was not the song to end on, not when she has so many other well loved anthems that would leave the crowd in high spirits and with a lasting impression of the night. Instead she chose one of the songs she didn’t write, sounds nothing like Ellie Goulding would release under any other circumstances and was the soundtrack to the most cinematically awful and controversial movie of 2015.
That little blip aside…it was a wonderful night full of fun, great music and one hell of an engaged and grateful performer. Well done, Ellie!
Holding on for Life
Something in the Way You Move
Keep on Dancin’
Don’t Need Nobody
How Long Will I Love You?
Lost & Found
On My Mind
I Need Your Love
We Can’t Move to This
Anything Could Happen
Love Me Like You Do