At 5:57am on MONDAY June 13th, I woke up before my 6:00am, 6:15am, and 6:30am alarms. I can count on my two hands the reason why I will willingly wake up at 6:00am. June 13th’s reason: ELLIE GOULDING.
The first and last time I breathed the same air as Ellie was the winter of 2013. Her show at Electric Factory is still one of my favorite shows of all time. Especially when she got “sexy” for her fans during Only You. And can we talk about HOW she sounds exactly if not better than she does in the studio. That. Is. Awesome. Admittedly, I watched and listened to her set over and over again while I (stu)died for finals. I say all this to say, that I had my expectations at an all time high, and Ellie blew them out the water.
Venue: Small note about Merriweather Post Pavilion. DOPE. From the staff to the actual venue, absolutely dope. The acoustics were great. There’s something about amphitheaters that adds another layer of electricity to the environment.
Opener: MATT AND KIM. I had no idea who they were before I stepped inside the gates. I had to tell a white lie to excited concert go-ers to not get that “ HOW COULD YOU NOT!” Oh yeah, i heard one song by them that… YEAH THAT’S IT! Daylightttssss.” Anywho, I was pleasantly surprised. They did what all openers should do, warm up and set the tone. Their set was explosive and so much fun. Especially Kim. I’m biased, because Kim smiled, winked, and pointed to me at various points of their set. She also threw her drumstick directly at me , and I caught it like an absolute pro and blew her a kiss… You can say things are pretty darn serious. So yes, Kim and I have a wonderful connection. The fun sample throwbacks that they played between songs were a lot of fun. Loved them.
I can really sum up Ellie’s performance in two words: Breathtakingly Spectacular. I literally had my breath taken away from me at various points of the concert and I didn’t mind. “Ellie, go ahead and take my breath away, I don’t need it!”
Ellie has some of the best intros. They’re haunting, chilling, and beautiful. Her falsetto pierces straight to the core and you’re filled with adrenaline for “Aftertaste.” Armed with four background dancers who did their thang, a four-piece band, and 3 awesome background singers, Ellie put on a show. Since it was at Merriweather, the vibe lacked the closeness and intimacy her previous show contained. Then again, “Delirium” itself was an album that took a step away from her more personal previous albums and a step into the more mainstream pop field. The perfect remedy for that were acoustic versions to “Devotion” and of course “Lights.” Side bar- Lights was the second song I found by Ellie, but the one that solidified my love and “devotion.” The first?: Under the Sheets by way of Chiddy Bang.
Moreover, Ellie sang her heart out. Her runs and belts were unreal. The control she exhibits with each note is absurd.
Some of my favorite songs performed were “ Don’t Need Nobody,” “ Keep on Dancin’,” “ Holding on to life,” “ Need your Love,” (ooo, especially when those air blasts came and then the fan pushed them down to ground creating this V refreshing cold blast) “ On My Mind,” and “Army.” I do wish she really performed “ Heal” and I would have loved to see “Paradise.” OH and her instrumental breakdowns were DOPE. Especially when the lights got all crazy and you’re standing there waiting like “ Oh oh… Ellie, Whatchu bout to do to me baybay… I CAN’T TAKE NO MO…” and she gives you so much more.
A big part of the show was also the vibe of the crowd. I was front and center to the pandemonium, but unlike the usual pushing and shoving that I have to endure when I go to a Rave, EVERYONE around me was respectful of each other’s space and there for one reason… to enjoy the presence and artistry of Queen Ellie. So shout out to all the crowd peeps.
Ellie talked to the audience more than she did in her 2013 show, which I of course loved because her accent is adorable. Plus, who doesn’t want to listen to Ellie talk. Her awkward charm with a new sense of bravado and certainty was on full display as well. Still chuckling when she called out Trump and asked for an audience member to hand her the sign they had about him. Priceless. The visuals she used were on point and a great compliment to her performance. I didn’t pay much attention to them since she was standing 6ft away from me… but they were nice. ESPECIALLY in the beginning when “White Princess Ellie” was transforming into this “Black Queen Ellie.” Woo Lawd.
If you never witnessed Ellie Goulding live… STOP whatever mundane task you’re doing right now, find the nearest city she’s playing at, buy the ticket, and GO! Just give her the money and GO! I must say, this show did leave a bittersweet Aftertaste. The fact that she is taking a break from music sucks, but as a diehard fan, I know it’s necessary part of the artistic process, I wish her nothing but the best in her break… the plus side to that, when she does come back to music, you know it’s going to be LIT AF!