Ellie Goulding at the O2 Arena was always going to be an early start. This was the biggest headline show to date and it was also super emotional as I have been on the Ellie Goulding ride since 2009 when she supported Florence and the Machine for part of the Little Noise Sessions. So I got there at 9.30am and that was a whole 9 hours before the doors opened!!!!.
The set that Ellie Goulding played that evening was simply phenomenal. Here you had a mixture of tracks from Halcyon/ Halcyon Days then you had old tracks which featured on the debut record Lights. What got me emotional was the fact this is the end of the Ellie Goulding journey. The O2 Arena is the largest venue that she has played in and this was a full on production which made it rather epic. It came as no surprise that Ellie Goulding completely sold this out which meant she was performing to 20,000 Gouldiggers. The progression Goulding has made is outstanding. Back in the early days Ellie was extremely shy and interacting with the audience was not her thing. But now she has grown in confidence and this 22 strong set left me feeling rather proud to be a Gouldigger.
There were then visuals of lightning bolts then Goulding took to the stage. Wearing a shell suit Ellie opened up with Figure 8 which featured on the sophomore album Halcyon and its re release Halcyon Days. This tune had a dub step feel to it and the vocals were sheer perfection. Figure 8 had luscious verses and a chorus which literally hits you like a ton of bricks. Ellie clearly put everything into it. Plenty of people were singing along and I don’t blame them because it was utterly infectious. Straight after it was something I hadn’t heard live before and this being Ritual which featured as a bonus track on Halcyon. Now I completely adored this song. It may of not been infectious like Figure 8 but it was a tune that left me captivated. Loads of energy oozed from this and the lyrics just make you want to dance on the spot. Next was something spectacular and this being the current single Goodness Gracious. This infectious synthpop tune went down well with the sold out crowd. I see this as an uplifting anthem. How it didn’t reach #1 I do not know. Also there was the use of pyrotechnics which was quite something. “Hello, good evening everyone. I’m here finally at the O2 in London” a humble Goulding said before urging everyone to dance. Now Animal was a full on force and it is one that can get you moving easily. It featured on the re packaged version version of Lights which was titled Bright Lights. On a whole this was one incredible number even I was jumping up and down. Following on was the one and only Starry Eyed which received a lot of whoops of delight. This was the song that made Ellie Goulding. Although it wasn’t the actual debut record it was the debut on a major record label. Words cannot describe how incredible this track it is. Starry Eyed was utterly infectious and it was one that easily gets you moving. Stay Awake was again another catchy number which left me entranced as it was played at a frantic pace. It had the makings of an anthem. Straight after it was then onto a double dose of covers first up you had Tessellate which was by alt J then you had Life Round Here which was sung by James Blake. I can’t say I am a fan of the both James Blake or alt J but Ellie’s take on these 2 numbers was extraordinary. Goulding left the stage only to return seconds later with an acoustic guitar. It was then time for a bit of Guns & Horses and it was a pleasure to hear this wondrous tune again. Even though it was soft it is very hypnotising/ infectious at the same time. Literally everyone sang along to the chorus.
Another double dose of covers were next. In fact they were both singles. Before the beautiful Your Song Ellie introduced Fit Chris who was on piano for this song. Words fail me when saying how amazing this actually was. Goulding completely owned this and I was literally standing in awe witnessing Ellie sing this luscious love song. Your Song was a soft ballad and sung at a steady pace. It was this moment when I started to fight back the tears. It just hit me that I had witnessed Ellie Goulding when she was playing at venues such as The Tabernacle and Dingwalls now she is playing to 20,000 people. Following on was How Long Will I Love You which was originally by The Waterboys. This was the official Children In Need single. How Long Will I Love You was sweet sounding song and Goulding’s vocals were stunning enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Ellie then left the stage and when she returned it was then onto another oldie and this being The Writer. This being a swooning ballad which I find to be rather slushy. The Writer was a song about not wanting to change for anyone. It was then onto Explosions. This tune was written about someone who isn’t around any more. This entrancing song was an emotional ballad which was delivered at a steady pace. It’s lyrics were impeccable and it is a track that I completely adored. My Blood which was the next tune of the set was a beautiful ballad with a catchy hook and a sombre melody. “You guys good?” Goulding asked the crowd before going straight into the intro of Bad Girls by M.I.A. Now this was mashed with Salt Skin. It was a pleasure to hear this Lights song again even though it was literally a snippet of the full version. Infused to the ending of Salt Skin was Only You. This tune easily gets you moving and the lyrics were really catchy. It also sounded like a chipmunk is singing parts of this number. It was then onto another infusion and this being between two Lights tracks. Every Time You Go / This Love (Will Be Your Downfall) were the songs in question. This again was a tear jerker because I love these to tunes and I had not heard them performed for years so it was a pleasure that old school Goulding had been added into the set. Also it brought back memories when This Love had the working title Swimming Pool back in the early days. Still I found both numbers to be utterly infectious. I adore both but if you put a gun to my head I would have to say This Love was my favourite mainly due to the fact it was uber catchy plus it was delivered at a fast pace.
“Now is the time to let yourself go and get the moves out” Ellie then said before the pleasing Anything Could Happen. I see this being the Ellie Goulding workout due to the fact the beat is so damn infectious. There was an electro feel to it and the vocal delivery was rather strong. Actually it was very uplifting. It was then onto I Need Your Love. This was a club friendly song and it is one you can have a good dance too. It was also the 7th single to be lifted from the Calvin Harris album 18 Months. After Goulding had thanked her fans for the support it was then onto tear jearker #3 even Ellie said she could almost cry. This being the fact the whole Arena was lit up with flash lights, mobiles or anything that shone a light. Ending the evening was Lights. This was a powerful and catchy number. Plenty of people were singing along to it. Once over Ellie and the rest of the band left the stage only to return for the predictable encore (they had left out Burn for starts). You My Everything was an incredible number plus there was an electro feel to it. The curtain closed with Burn which was Ellie’s first ever number 1 single. I must say this was simply spectacular. It was clear synthpop aided by infectious lyrics which you want to jump up and down too.
Tessellate/ Life Round Here
Guns & Horses
How Long Will I Love You
Bad Girls/ Salt Skin
Every Time You Go/ This Love (Will Be Your Downfall)
Anything Could Happen
I Need Your Love
You My Everything
OVERALL: This was one phenomenal evening. Just seeing Ellie Goulding perform to 20,000 people did make me emotional because it made me remember the days when I first saw her perform. As much as I love Goulding I think this is the final step for her. Honestly I cannot see a stadium tour. The set was excellent and it was nice to hear This Love and Every Time You Go again. I can’t wait for the 3rd LP as I know it will be a right cracker. I was slightly sad that Ellie didn’t slip in Beating Heart. I mean with it being the biggest show Ellie has headlined and being in London I thought it would of been the perfect time.
As for the support. I had witnessed Chloe a week before and the set which was performed blew me away. Howl is a star in the making and it was ashame that she didn’t win Critic’s Choice at the Brits (she was against Sam Smith and Ella Eyre though who are also mega talented). The songs which were performed went down well with the whole crowd and I enjoyed every single second. Bring on the album later in the year.