Synthpop goddess Ellie Goulding kicked off the North American leg of her Delirium Tour Friday night in Vancouver, rocking a (somewhat) packed Rogers Arena with a two hour-long show comprised of big hits and fan favourites.
The British singer-songwriter is on the road promoting her latest album Delirium, which is a straight-up pop affair unlike her first two full-length records. Friday’s show was certainly not as intimate as her previous tours (Goulding played Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre two years ago), and her awkward choreography and bizarre Cirque-like set added nothing to the music.
But cheesy theatrics aside, Goulding left the crowd breathless with her killer voice and her adorable banter between songs. “It’s been a while since I’ve been here, and it’s so nice to be back to see you gorgeous people!” she said to huge cheers while a stagehand fumbled with her guitar.
“I find it really odd for someone to bring my guitar out for me. It’s weird! But it’d be a bit awkward if I ran back and got it myself. Times have changed…I used to only have my guitar and nothing else,” she told us before starting a lovely acoustic version of “Devotion”. Goulding confessed that most of her songs have “a cynical twist on love”, but said “Devotion” is simply a “pretty song about being in love with someone.”
Goulding dedicated album track “Army” to her best friend and sang it while a collage of personal snapshots of the singer’s squad flashed on the screen behind her. “When something really upsets me or I’m in a tough situation, I have to write it down and I end up singing it to all of you guys,” she said. “I realized there was one thing I’d never written about – the one person who always puts up with my crap. I don’t know where I’d be without her.”
Goulding then performed a stripped down version of her breakthrough single “Lights”, but the crowd was itching for the singer to finally get the party started. And she didn’t disappoint – dance floor stompers like “Outside” and “I Need Your Love” were show highlights, and the hipster crowd was so mesmerized by her rocking version of “Burn” that most forgot to whip out their iPhones to Snapchat the intimate moment with their friends.
“Usually I do this song and tell people to put their phones away but obviously, none of you have your phones out! I’m really gobsmacked,” Goulding told us. “In the U.K. where I’m from, all I see is phones! And the reason why people aren’t jumping or dancing is because they’re trying to keep their phones steady. And I find that weird.”
“I try as much as I can to not face up to the modern day technology and I just enjoy things for myself, and my brain, and my eyes and my mind,” she continued. “You guys have been so good and I don’t see any phones, so do whatever you want! You are AMAZING. Respect!”
Goulding wrapped up the evening with “Love Me Like You Do”, which was the only decent thing to come out of 50 Shades of Grey besides the stunning Vancouver backdrop. And after spraying us with gold confetti from a cannon, the singer said her goodbyes before exiting stage left.
“All my lovely people! I don’t say that every night by the way…you’re really lovely,” Goulding told us. “I hope you all go and have an amazing Friday night, and there’s still time to get to the bar! Get drunk! It’s Friday isn’t it? Oh my god, it’s party day!”