REVIEW: Ellie Goulding w/ John Newman & LANY | Echo Arena | 10.03.16

Six years since the release of her debut album ‘Lights’, one of the UK’s hottest pop stars Ellie Goulding brought her Delerium tour to Liverpool’s Echo Arena on Thursday 10th March 2016. Supported by chart topping soul man John Newman and US new boys LANY, the evening promised plenty and our reviewer Riccardo Giovanni was there to see it all.

LANY who are supporting Ellie Goulding

Announcing that they were playing their second arena ever (presumably the first was two nights earlier in Cardiff on the tour’s opening night), US Soundcloud favourites LANY opened proceedings with a very prompt 7pm stage time. Fans of Miss Goulding who queued to get the best vantage point or those with deep pockets who took to their seats super early were treated to epic chunks of sun kissed pop from the trio, reminiscent of 80s synth guitar pop bands such as Mr Mister, Cutting Crew and Glass Tiger. ‘Made in Hollywood’ a slice of synth led heaven stood out as the highlight of the set and wouldn’t be out of place in some uber-cool road movie. Perfect festival sounds and one to watch.

Yorkshire’s very own soul man John Newman burst on to the scene in 2012 when he joined forces with Rudimental and he similarly burst on to the stage that night with a high octane performance designed to get the adrenalin pumping for our headliner. Tracks like ‘Come and Get It’ and number one single ‘Love Me Again’ certainly did the trick and his unique dance style that appears to be a mixture of Michael Jackson, Michael Flatley and Bruce Forsyth made this a thoroughly entertaining support performance.

Having seen Ellie Goulding perform at smaller venues in the city such as the Student Guild and O2 Academy I was interested to see how her music would translate to the big arena. The singer had previously stated that she wanted to “experiment” and create a “big pop album” and with Delirium she certainly tried to produce something that would fill the huge cavernous spaces of an arena tour.

Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding

Although not experimental enough for some critics ‘Delirium’ is a steady progression from second album ‘Halcyon’ and a massive shift from debut ‘Lights’. The music is produced to within an inch of its life and that comes across in the tour production with dancers, lasers, huge twitchy projections and confetti attempting to overpower the senses.

This tour is far removed from the raw and almost stripped back performances we have grown used to and I found myself wondering what the older section of the audience were thinking of the banging EDM influenced sections when they were here on the back of Fifty Shades of Grey ballad ‘Love Me Like You Do’ and ITV drama theme ‘Army’. In fact the even once staple ‘Starry Eyed’ and ‘Guns and Horses’ have gone, replaced by banging Calvin Harris collaborations ‘Outside’ and ‘I Need Your Love’.

The set reached a climax with tracks including ‘Figure 8’, ‘On My Mind’ and chart topping ‘Burn’ which like the football fans who leave five minutes from the end led to a pre-encore exodus. And those who did leave possibly missed out on the song they actually came to see as Ellie followed ‘Anything Could Happen’ with the Fifty Shades anthem.

The tour continues around the UK and Europe this spring before heading off to the US with a festival slot already booked to play Coachella in April. I wouldn’t be surprised if Miss Goulding found herself high up the billing on Glastonbury’s Pyramid this summer too, before taking some time away from her music.

Written by Riccardo Giovanni

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