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Having been an avid Ellie fan from day one, having already seen her live a few times, I naturally felt like I knew what to expect from her concert at the O2 arena in London. Whilst her amazing light show ranging from sporadic thunder storm effects to a single, stark spotlight was the same as her smaller shows in Leeds and York, the set list and the energy of both her performance and of the crowd exceeded all my expectations.
Along with the usual best selling crowd pleasers of 'Starry Eyed', 'Your Song' and 'Goodness Gracious', Ellie performed some of her lesser known songs from her latest album, 'Halcyon' with equal passion, keeping her audience constantly captivated.
A backing track of M.I.A's 'Bad Girls' merged very cooly into a fast paced mashup of songs from her first album, 'Lights', cleverly adapting her more acoustic songs into an arena appropriate performance. This, along with a stripped back performance of her cover of Alt-J's 'Tesselate' were personal highlights of the night.
The awkward 'should I sit or stand' dilemma of being in a large arena was possibly the only downside of being at the O2. However, half way through the show Ellie got the entire audience on its feet as she sang her hit song, 'Anything Could Happen'. The singer encouraged dorky dancing as she herself busted out the running man on stage and screens focused in on members of the audience equally getting into the 'dad at a disco' vibes.
On singing another big hit, 'Lights', Ellie asked everybody to put their lit up phone screens in the air before the song, creating a pretty spectacular view. She got understandably emotional, telling her fans how much she appreciated their support from the early days when she was playing to crowds of only a couple of hundred people, up until where she was currently standing playing at the O2 in London. The singer, who in recent years has performed for President Obama and at the Royal Wedding and the Brits to name but a few of her successes, said she could cry as she told the crowd, "we've made it."
Ellie saved a recent hit for her encore, changing from a robotic, metallic bodysuit into simple shorts and a Tshirt to perform 'Burn' to close the show. Indeed, whilst the lights, the energy, the dancing and her talented band and backing singers made for an effective arena performance, Ellie's voice still stands up as the ultimate show-stealer. Whoever says the girl can't belt a note needs to go and see her live. Her vocals are at once haunting and soft and raw and gravelly, unlike any other I have heard. Whilst the electro feel of her album 'Halcyon' is definitely harder to translate into a live performance than her earlier work, Ellie's vocals did not get lost amidst the music.
The overall performance was cool and sexy, with Ellie coming across like she was having a genuinely great time on stage. She can sing, dance and play a host of instruments like it's second nature. Whilst her individual sound might not be to everybody's taste, nobody can deny Ellie has talent.
I left the O2 with absolutely no voice but a smile on my face that even missing the last train home could not falter. Will I be seeing Ellie Goulding live for a fifth time? Absolutely.