Photos and review by Caleb Hsu
What do you get when a revamped ice hockey rink meets thousands of screaming fans and a UK popstar wearing only a sports bra and green plaid shorts? You get a headlining tour by none other than the sparkling Ellie Goulding on St. Patrick’s Day. Forget about leprechaun hunting, bagpipe brigades, green-colored beer, and shamrock paraphernalia—this concert was the gold at the end of the rainbow. Opening with “Figure 8,” Ellie ensured concertgoers would feel a wide range of emotions soar atop dubstep basslines and sparse acoustic accompaniments alike throughout the entirety of the night.
Ellie is the type of genius artist who can translate her intensely emotional experiences of heartbreak and triumph into relatable music that ignites fiery passion in your soul. She’s the kind of singer producers love to work with because all she needs is a steady backbeat and some minimal synth overlays, and magic is created overtop. Looking out into the glimmering daze of lit cellphone flashes amidst swaying audience members during songs like “Starry Eyed,” it was clear that Ellie’s language of love was well accepted.
Though I’m admittedly a huge fan of Ellie’s unparalleled songwriting and original material, my favorite performance of the night was her cover of Elton John’s “Your Song.” Ellie has a graceful simplicity, which she approaches delicate nuances of music flawlessly with. Her vocals were unwavering even as she floated through stratospheric upper registers, without ever becoming piercing, before gently tapering off into nothingness. Ellie is a true artist, painting murals over silence with the many colors of her voice.
If there’s one thing that speaks more of an artist whose level of fame is nearing international superstardom, it’s the ability to retain a strong sense of humility. Ellie allowed her background singers to take prominent lead roles in “Ritual.” Even their position on the stage quashed the conventional background role of backing vocalists, standing to the right of Ellie, not nestled somewhere behind the shadows of her figure. Ellie also showed genuine gratitude early on (and consistently throughout her show), pausing to divulge, “You all are really such lovely people—thank you!” I highly recommend you to catch a tour stop to witness the grace and beauty behind Halcyon!
Check out all of our photos from the night here!