Concert review and photography: Ellie Goulding at Express Live!
Review and photos by Judy Won Photography – do not use photos without permission
When I arrived at the newly named EXPRESS LIVE!, I quickly found out that the second performers of the night for The Delirium World Tour, Years & Years, had dropped off of the tour the night before due to a sick band member. Because of this change, Bleta “Bebe” Rexha took the stage at 7:30pm like usual with Ellie Goulding starting at 8:30.
It’s sad to say that I was looking to their performance and while they were second on the bill for the night, it did not seem like their absence caused a stir at the concert.
Opener Bebe Rexha took to the stage with much confidence, performing a setlist consisting of powerful hits, all of which I’ve heard before on the radio to my surprise. Before this concert, I was sheepish to admit that I didn’t believe I knew any of Bebe’s songs. While her short 25 minute performance only consisted of seven songs, two of which being covers, I still found myself recognizing every song that she sang.
She opened up with “Take Me Home,” rolling into “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy,” and covering “The Monster” by Eminem featuring Rihanna. Her vocals perfectly fit the cover, as well as the “Hey Mama” cover she sang shortly after, by David Guetta. Though her short conversations with the crowd, I realized that she seemed to be a party girl who likes drinking, with her fifth song for the night, “Can’t Stop Drinking About You,”. She topped off her performance with her hit “Me, Myself, & I” featuring G-Eazy, and ending with “No Broken Hearts,”.
I thoroughly enjoyed her set, and with the cancellation of Years & Years, I really expected her to perform for longer than 25 minutes, but the show must go on I guess.
Headliner for the night, Ellie Goulding took the stage after much chanting at 8:30pm on the dot. She had a beautiful, elaborate stage set up with 3 back up vocalists, 4 dancers, and a multitude of musicians to back her up. After the support took to the stage, Goulding appeared out of the center of the stage in front of a giant LCD screen of herself.
She performed a great number of her radio hard-hitters, with a beautiful and sad acoustic rendition of “Lights” and “Devotion.” She also performed almost every track off of her recent Delirium album, sounding just as good, if not better and her recorded vocals.
I can honestly say that Goulding is definitely one of the top live vocalists, with such a unique, raspy yet airy, angelic tone. She also performed a couple of Calvin Harris covers throughout the night, along with tunes from her previous album, Halcyon, such as “Anything Could Happen,” “Figure 8,” and “Explosions,” to name a few.
The night consisted of much dancing, multiple costume changes, none of which that were too extreme or outlandish, and conversations with the crowd. Towards the end of the night, before she performing “Burn,” her last unofficial song of the night before her two song long encore, Goulding asked the crowd if they remembered what it was like at concerts before cell phones were a thing.
She pleaded with the crowd to put away their phones and to enjoy the moment for the rest of the night, saying that she would rather remember our faces than our phones. Many in the crowd cheered to these statements and danced the rest of the night away with their phones tucked out of site. While there were still a few phones up in the air during the last two songs, “Anything Can Happen” and “Love Me Like You Do,” the night ended on a beautiful and nostalgic note. Nostalgic in the sense that concerts were lived through the eyes of the beholders, dancing and singing the night away, before they lived through their cell phones.
Ellie Goulding Setlist
- Intro (Delirium)
- Holding on for Life
- Goodness Gracious
- Something in the Way You Move
- Outside (Calvin Harris cover)
- Devotion (acoustic)
- I Do What I Love
- Keep on Dancin’
- Don’t Need Nobody
- Lights (Acoustic)
- Lost and Found
- Figure 8
- On My Mind
- Don’t Panic
- We Can’t Move to This
- I Need Your Love (Calvin Harris cover)
23. Anything Could Happen
22. Love Me Like You Do