I’ll preface this by saying I’ve been unjustly judged for my love of Ellie Goulding. Who? My friends will ask. Oh, you and your pop music. That barely qualifies as music. Okay, Indie-Seattle-too-cool-for-school music snobs. Her lyrics and voice will prove you wrong if you give her music a fair chance. A catchy Calvin Harris beat does not make an artist inauthentic. My husband and I recently saw Ms. Goulding live at The Paramount. While I’m pretty sure I missed the Coachella dress code memo, I’m blaming my fast-approaching thirties that I don’t own any fringed crop tops or cutoff jean underwear (Seattle’s 50-degree springtime weather wasn’t even a deterrent for some gals). The lineup of songs was made up mostly of tracks from Ellie’s Halcyon album — she opened with Figure 8, but soon went to some older faves, including an acoustic and echoing Guns and Horses. Dropping out some verses to let the crowd fill in, the result was so special. She mentioned singing the song to us was something unique for her, since it was written about someone from Seattle, and Seattle was the first place in the U.S. she’d ever visited. This, of course, garnered much love from the crowd. To witness a sea of longtime fans entranced from song to song is just as a concert should be.
On some of the more beat-driven songs, Ellie kicked it up with some drum solos. Encouraging the crowd to dance their dorkiest dances, Ellie led the way with the running man, free-flowing body rolls, and a slo-mo twerk or two. During an excerpt of the intro to M.I.A’s Bad Girls, my husband busted out what I could only describe as offbeat Raggaeton. The way she danced had me trying to mimic the moves on the way to the parking garage and nearly falling into a gutter. While the show included all of the radio-known songs like, Lights, Anything Could Happen, and Fire, it was the more subdued moments like in the phrases of The Writer and Beating Heart (from the Divergent soundtrack) that made us have that special connected feeling that good concerts have. Now, to those pop music haters out there, I say get off my back already and watch a live performance or two. Here’s one to start with. Watching the unassuming performance of her hit Lights live on Ryan Seacrest was enough to get me hooked. And she’s so cool. I mean, just check out her Instagram for starters. She’s the positive and cheeky girl-next-door type you can’t help but love.