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The Crack Magazine


Ellie Goulding at her Brightest

After a 5-month pandemic postponement, Ellie Goulding’s Brightest Blue tour finally arrived in Newcastle on the 9th of October, and it was well worth the wait. The O2 Academy was practically vibrating with the atmosphere of a couple thousand concert goers buzzing to be back in a venue. Whitley Bay’s L Devine, with her energetic performance as support act, ignited the crowd even more, her alt-pop tunes fierier than her trademark red locks.

Ellie had the audience in the palm of her hand as soon as she stepped on stage. When she announced the tour on her Instagram, she told her followers “I’ve purposely made this tour more intimate than some of my previous shows- much like the record, so we can all be together in one room sharing each other’s energy.” The Hereford-born singer/songwriter achieved just that, with the smaller venue, stripped back staging and limited band working in her favour. The focus was on her stunning lyrics and live vocals, which are even better than they are on her records. It was also great to see her show her chops on the guitar.

Goulding used the screen at the back of the stage to portray important messages about climate change, with a presentation towards the end of the show telling us to “be the generation to restore nature” and a thanks going out to a long list of young climate activists when the concert finished.

We were taken on a journey throughout Goulding’s stellar music career, from her 2011 debut album, Lights, to her Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack contribution, to the highlights from her 2020 release, Brightest Blue. One minute the crowd was erupting into a dancing frenzy to ‘I Need Your Love’, the next we were swaying our phone torches to ‘Woman’. The best thing about the whole gig was that Ellie seemed just as excited to be back on stage as we were to see her; dancing around, giggling at the crowd’s chants and chatting to us between songs as if we were close friends.

Leanna Thomson