It may be towards the end of a long year of touring for Ellie Goulding but tonights show, the second and final one in New Zealand, felt fresh. The Delirium tour draws on the album of the same name, and a few old (and new) favourites besides. Ellies ability to both write and perform great pop songs was evidently clear. There was a cheer of recognition at the beginning of every track as the audience sang and danced along.
Playing to a full arena, we were treated to a show which focused on the singer and the songs. On stage a four piece band and three female vocalists provided a formidable backing. The band was so tight, it was easy to forget they were playing live. The visuals were simple, and the audience energy was mirrored by some impressive dancing courtesy of four male dancers and Ellie herself.
Each song had its own identity and was cleverly constructed. Some were stripped down and accompanied only by Ellies own acoustic guitar or a band mate (who apparently smells like heaven!). We also had electric guitar wig-outs. There were a couple of costume changes, including a white dress with bare feet for the quieter songs in the middle of the set. Later we had rock chick Ellie looking like she thoroughly enjoyed playing her electric guitar and running a wild.
New song, Still Falling For You, had everyone singing along, despite the warning that we might not know it. A New Zealand flag made an appearance during Army and was draped over the drum kit for the rest of the evening. I Need Your Love was a definite highlight for the crowd.
Despite the slickness of the show, it was clear Ellie was still in charge. She reminisced about her earlier career, playing unaccompanied in a London pub to twenty people back in the days before mobile phone cameras. She managed to get the arena into near complete darkness before asking people to enjoy the final song by watching with our eye balls, not through a mobile phone screen. Cheers greeted this suggestion and it was fascinating to see the crowd dancing to Burn with their hands in the air enthusiastically, briefly free from the need to record every moment.
After a short break, the band returned to the stage to perform an encore of Anything Could Happen and Love Me Like You Do which finished off the evening perfectly.
Special mention should be made of the support band, Openside. They did a great job warming up the crowd with their infectious guitar based pop songs. Based in Auckland, these guys are definitely worth keeping an eye on, as they grow in confidence with each outing!
Photos and words by Dave Simpson