It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve been in Canada, and (other than a drunk man yelling at me at 10am) everything has been unnervingly wonderful. And when I found out that Ellie Goulding was playing a show in Vancouver, I thanked the stars for aligning and decided I needed to see her. My concert game has been pretty weak lately as I’ve been in constant saving mode (moving to the other side of the world is expensive!), so I was excited to finally see a show again. I was especially stoked to see that the kiwi band Broods was opening – back home I once very nearly went to one of their tiny shows, but uni work proved too much so I wasn’t able to go – so another reason why I needed to see this show. Despite some difficulties in buying tickets (can someone please replace Ticketmaster with something actually functional?), I managed to nab two seats for relatively cheap.
The tickets said 7pm and, unusually for a concert, the lights dimmed as soon as it hit 7 and Broods came on. I was really impressed with their set. I wouldn’t have thought that their sound translated well on stage, but they sounded fantastic, especially as they were the openers and opening acts have a history of slightly dodgy sound. I was sitting pretty far away so I couldn’t really see them (the screens were only used during Ellie’s set), but I could still tell that they had great energy. When I was looking up the music video, I saw Broods described as “dream pop” which is pretty accurate. They’ve got a very synth-based sound and a little Lorde-esque (probably because they have the same producer, Joel Little), so if you like music you can dance to, I totally recommend them. I feel second-hand pride whenever kiwis do well, and my bet is that Broods is soon going to blow up in popularity.
It wasn’t long after Broods finished that Ellie’s set started. When I saw that she had backing singers and several dancers, I realised that I’d actually never been to an actual pop concert before. I’ve definitely seen pop artists play live, but seeing a whole show with costume changes and dance routines was really different and really cool.
She mainly played songs off her new album, but she did play a few older songs, including “Figure 8” and “Burn”, which are probably my favourite songs of hers. I’m definitely an Ellie fan and I like listening to her songs, but they were so much more fun live. I’m not that into some of her big songs, like “On My Mind” and “Anything Could Happen”, but seeing them live just made me want to dance and sing along. While most of it was pretty high energy, at one point she got her guitar and played a stripped down version of “Devotion”. It was a nice reminder that she is actually a really accomplished musician and, in my opinion, made the song feel so much more sincere and emotional than the album version.
A particular favourite moment of mine was when she was introducing the song “Army”. She said that her best friend is so important in her life and always there for her, so she wrote a song about their friendship. When she sang, pictures of the two of them played on the screen behind her and it seemed so genuine and lovely.
Throughout her set, she chatted with the audience and made unintentional jokes and she seemed to be a really sweet person. It was a fantastic show – her voice is great live and I applaud her fitness levels (it was very high energy). Having Broods as the opener was a great way to start the night, and Ellie killed it – she was truly amazing.