Ellie Goulding

By Patrick Campbell

Artist:  Ellie Goulding

Date / Venue:  Saturday June 7th, Vector Arena, Auckland

Vector Arena was packed when Broods took the stage to open the show tonight. Their latest single Never Gonna Change was familiar enough for the crowd to sing along to, however most of their set was very one sided. A lack of crowd participation outside of Bridges meant that the lead singers dancing turned into something of a spectacle as she writhed around the stage. In saying that there s definitely talent in the group and they were a good pick to open for Goulding, with a very similar electronic-pop style.

The night went off without a hitch time-wise, with Goulding on stage as the clock struck ten past eight. Opening with Figure 8, a backdrop of thunder over clouds flashed behind her as she ran around the stage, singing her heart out. This was how the night would be for the next two hours, Goulding, her band, and her voice. As each song changed so did the visuals of the backdrop, a simple visual accompaniment to the main event: Her.

After an energetic performance of Stay Awake from her recent Halcyon Days EP, Goulding left the stage briefly as a new set up was introduced. Upon her return she broke into a mash up of two covers, the first being Alt-J's Tessellate, the second James Blake's Life Round Here. Whilst the tracks may have been unknown to a large amount of people in the crowd, they brilliantly showcased the artist's rich vocal talents and her amazing ability to take any song and make it her own with a simple twist.

After this she was left alone with one guitarist to perform a string of acoustic tracks before bringing the band back to play the emotional ballad The Writer. This was one of the stand out performances for me, one of my favourite songs of all time and it was delivered perfectly. Following this she launched into a string of hits, old and new, mashing up her own Salt Skin, with MIA's Bad Girls, before running into Only You. At this point the crowd was as high energy as Goulding herself, dancing, singing, jumping. The reason for her global success was very clear at this point: she makes amazing music that everyone can enjoy, and more than that, she can pull it off live.

To finish her intensely energetic set, she performed her hit Anything Could Happen, her Calvin Harriscollaboration I Need Your Love, and finally Lights. For the final song the arena was flooded with torches from iPhones and even the occasional lighter. The artist united the entire arena as she danced and sang her way across the stage, reaching to every corner of the room. After declaring us her "favourite crowd so far on this tour" she left for the briefest of moments before returning for the expected encore.

The two songs went by far too quickly, the electronic frenzy that was You My Everything got the crowd back into the same mood they had for songs like Only You and Goodness Gracious. However, the scream that erupted from the crowd when Burn - her most successful song to date - began to play was simply extraordinary. The crowd was hers and for the final three minutes she gave her all as did everyone else. When she finished with an electric guitar in hand the crowd was in awe.

The set was just under two hours long and after performing 21 songs, Ellie Goulding showed the entire crowd at Vector Arena why she is travelling the world selling out crowds. Her skill on the drums, the guitar, and vocally was nothing short of incredible. Her humble attitude as she talked to the crowd in between songs was lovable, and her ability to give her all in every single song whilst making it look effortless is something quite unique. Although she said she was unsure when she would be returning to our shores after this tour, I hope it's very soon.