Sunday, April 20, 2014

Ellie Goulding at Bill Graham – A Concert Opportunity

     The bottom line concert review: At least for us, it’s the collection of work that is the attraction to Ellie Goulding, so seeing her perform a twenty one-song setlist was an opportunity to appreciate her talent – and Goulding did not disappoint.

     The Ellie Goulding performance at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco was another Coachella-related visit to the San Francisco area. Particularly now that the Coachella festival occurs over two weekends, with almost duplicate lineups, it is cost-effective for the festival bands to make the roughly 500 mile trip to San Francisco.
     The sellout group of about 7,000 was involved before the first note from Goulding. She walked onto the stage to much louder than normal applause. And the fans were ready to provide accompaniment for Goulding, with much more apparent than normal singing. However, Goulding didn’t need the crowd-sourced support, since she brought three backup singers. With four performers focused on vocalization, the songs had the texture and fullness that her songs exhibit in their studio versions, and it was achieved without concern of synchronizing live performance and recorded samples. To be clear, we have no objection to performers (such as Lorde) who heavily rely on mixing live and previously recorded vocalization, but we do prefer live performance in a concert setting.
     In addition to her singing, at times Goulding worked with the four musicians. She added percussion, played an acoustic guitar, and her electric guitar had an important role in “Burn,” which was the final song of the evening.
     The setlist was well designed. Goulding started strong with "Figure 8" and "Ritual." The lower energy songs were positioned in the middle. Then with three songs left (prior to the encore), she annouced that it was time to go up-tempo, and the crowded responded positively when "Anything Can Happen" began.
      "Anything Can Happen"

      "Figure 8"

      This is a snippet from the SF concert, but recorded and uploaded by another attendee (thank you "Sanfranrockchick.").

The Setlist from the show:
1. Figure 8
2. Ritual
3. Goodness Gracious
4. Animal
5. Starry Eyed
6. Stay Awake
7. Tessellate / Life Round Here / Guns and Horses
8. Beating Heart
9. Your Song (Elton John cover)
10. Piano Interlude
11. The Writer
12. Explosions
13. My Blood
14. Bad Girls / Salt Skin
15. Only You
16. Every Time You Go / This Love (Will Be Your Downfall)
17. Anything Could Happen
18. I Need Your Love
19. Lights

20. You My Everything
21. Burn


Conway was the opener. She hales from Los Angeles.
     "Big Talk:

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