English pop princess Ellie Goulding brought her Delirium tour to the suburbs May 6and she was worth the trip from the city.
This singer has come a long way from a simple electronica-tinged debut record. We talked about her Elton John cover of "Your Song" back then and, over the years, it has been entertaining to watch her grow as an artist. The venues she has played in Illinois have grown right along with her in terms of volume and size.
Most people may not remember she played at an intimate venue like Lincoln Hall, did a few Lollapaloozas and then sang at the Aragon Ballroom before landing the arena at Allstate Arena in Rosemont on May 6. Her radio hits have grown along with her and she packed those all up to present to her large fan base.
She filled the space out nicely but, at times, it was hard to translate what she has accomplished in smaller venues in the past. There is still the down-home pleasant girl from the past who may not want to grow up to be the next Madonna.
Goulding's rise on the radio continues to be unpredictable. For some reason, songs like "Goodness Gracious" didn't hit but "Burn" did. What could have been a throwaway single from Fifty Shades of Grey went global and won her a Grammy ( "Love Me Like You Do" ).
She definitely has the gay dollar that was there and even seemed to acknowledge it with a male on male shirtless acrobatic segment in the middle of the show. Some guys on straight dates balked at it but there were many men holding hands together in the audience to make up for it.
She brought a huge setlist with her that included a few obscure songs, and even paid a quick tribute to Prince with "When Doves Cry." She played the drums a bit and had a few costume changesfrom a black leotard to a white gown to a plaid skirt rocker outfit, although she kept the black Doc Martens on the whole time just be a rebel.
Her lights and visuals were state of the art and there was a big ending, with confetti sprayed everywhere. She had the budget to try a variety of things out, but not everything worked. Scarves and a small group of back-up dancers waving silver sticks didn't bring enough magic.
Things that worked well included an homage to her best friend with "Army" that was sweet and switching to EDM with "Outside" that fit perfect in her wheelhouse.
She has a bit of work still do on stage banter and standing out from other pop concerts. However, if she continues being true to herself, these fans will be sure to follow.
Goulding returns to Lollapalooza again this summer so we can all look out to see what she will bring to her now regular stomping grounds.
Catch up with Delirium at EllieGoulding.com .
Photos and text by Jerry Nunn