REVIEW: TSB Bank Arena, Wellington, June 9
Reviewed by Colin Morris
In the space of four short years Ellie Goulding has sold four million discs world-wide and a further 15 million singles all on the strength of two albums and at the age of 27 seems to have been around for a lot longer such is her maturity, crowd-pleasing performance and sassy dance moves.
Clad in black tights, black bra and a bare midriff, Goulding owned the stage extolling the audience to reach for a higher bar after every song. And it was the massively enthusiastic audience who played their part making Goulding raise her own game. It was a muscular performance, as if Pink, Rihanna and Katy Perry were desperately trying to outdo each other.
As is the case these days, the light show played an important part but came dangerously close to contributing to an epileptic fit. After an opening set of half a dozen well-chosen tracks, which included Ritual, Goodness Gracious, Animal and Starry Eyed - and let's be honest here, there isn't a lot of material to choose from yet - she then switched to an acoustic set of Guns and Horses, Beating Heart and a super version of her hit, a cover of Elton John's Your Song. She had performed it at Prince William and Catherine Middleton's wedding reception and this was a nice respite from the bombast.
Highlight for me was The Writer with its angelic chorus backing and ''churchy'' feel followed closely by Explosions, which, has to be said, sounds like a Lorde tune. As there was no introduction of the band members I can only conclude that this is her current band of Joe Clegg - drums, Chris Ketley - guitar and keys, Simon Francis - bass and Jihea Oh - synth and keys. It was, without dissing the other members, Oh's contribution on keyboards that was a major factor in the sound.
Only Bad Girls/Salt Skin seemed like a wrong move, but it went unnoticed by the largely female audience. The obligatory encore gave us Burn, a fitting way to end a spectacular show.
- The Dominion Post