Ellie Goulding – Terminal 5 – January 21, 2013
With her hit single “Lights” last year, Ellie Goulding made her mark in the States and staked more claim by filming the video for her first single off her sophomore effort Halcyon, “Anything Could Happen,” in Los Angeles. The lass from the small village of Lyonshall has crossed over in every sense of the word, selling out not one, but two shows at Terminal 5. She had previously sold out the same venue back in the summer of 2011. So it was fitting that she returned last night to delight fans once again with her soprano-like voice, which filled the three-story space with an ethereal ambiance.
Showered in spotlights, Goulding came dressed with fringe that dripped from her arms and leather shorts as she began her set with “Don’t Say a Word.” Her voice bounced from near-piercing vibrato to a breathy, almost-hoarse timbre. Once when describing her instrument to Carson Daly, Goulding admitted, “I think sometimes it sounds like my voice is like, out of control…. I have to really control it because it just kind of goes everywhere. Like, sometimes stuff comes out that I don’t expect.” Her vocals were almost overlayered with Auto-Tune on the Tinie Tempah collaboration “Hanging On,” but they were beautifully stripped down to her upper register for the ballad “Joy.”
Shedding her fringe for an acoustic guitar, the blonde Brit played an old favorite “Guns and Horses” as fans sang along on a chorus of “I would.” After revealing “I Know You Care” was about her dad, Goulding treated the impassioned onlookers to her cover of Elton John’s “Your Song.” The sonic-changing pitch of her voice reverberated against the venue’s metal frames, turning it into New York City’s version of Moulin Rouge. To add to the spectacle, the gent in charge of the lights would have made Jenny Holtzer proud with the amount of voltage on “Only You” and audience favorite “Anything Could Happen.” Ending the set with “Starry Eyed,” Goulding came back to encore with the Calvin Harris track “I Need Your Love” and “Lights.” But Ms. Goulding’s luminosity was never in question and all the aforementioned lights weren’t necessary because she did it all with that unique voice. —Sharlene Chiu