Saving the best for last is a reward system we often employ for one reason or another. Delayed gratification can come in many forms, whether it be food (waiting until after your veggies for some flan or ice cream), fireworks (the big colorful climaxes), or sex (a different type of climax altogether.) There’s something to be said, and better yet, to be enjoyed, about waiting to the end for the big payoff.
Musicians oftentimes use this trick to
Goulding’s opener was a DJ. Sigh.
To be fair, that DJ – Cedric Gervais – was no slouch. He’s very famous and very popular. Still, even with Goulding’s longstanding relationship with EDM, a live act would have felt more appropriate.
Once she took the stage, it was readily apparent that Goulding is a worldwide pop star. The stage production and general setup
And yet, something was missing. It was all a bit underwhelming. As pretty as so much of the concert was, the better part of the show was, for lack of a better word, boring.
It wasn’t for lack trying. These days Goulding participates in a number of dance routines, and she’s got plenty of
The slow start picked up some pace with “Something in the Way You Move,” one of the shinier numbers from her platinum-selling third LP, Delirium. The Calvin Harris collaboration, “Outside,” lifted fans from their seats (the crowd remained seated for the first half of the show.) After a lovely acoustic rendition of “Devotion,” things got a bit sexier and more Miami. so to speak, with a laser-fueled set that brought out the hunks once more and the exuberant “Keep on Dancin'.”
However, it wasn’t until Goulding performed a beautiful piano- and drum-led version of “Lights,” a song she wrote for her best friend who’s always there for her when the “shit hit the fan,” that the apex was in sight. Indeed, her next song set off a wave of enthusiasm that invigorated the audience for the remainder of the night.
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“Army” is the type of song that can’t help but inspire, with its grand, soaring affections and catchy songbird chorus. Perhaps it was inevitable that it would be the turning point in the show. Goulding let loose, her voice sounding as gorgeous as she looked; it felt honest and raw. By the time she and her band launched into “Figure 8,” Goulding had gone through her third costume change. She sported a black leather jacket to accompany the matching black electric guitar slung around her shoulder, looking like the sparkliest member of the Hell’s Angels.
The jaunty “On My Mind” and mall-pop of “Don’t Panic” followed before giving way to a pair of massively popular hits: “I Need Your Love” and “Burn,” during the latter of which she urged fans to keep their phones away. “This is better seen through your eyeballs,” she said.
And she’s not wrong. Once the encore of “Anything Could Happen” and “Love Me Like You Do” were over and the confetti had been blasted out of the tubes, much of the potential hinted at an hour before was fulfilled. It took a while, but the ultimate satisfaction, however deferred, was worth the wait.