My skin glistened with twinkling confetti that rained like fire flies on a thirsty crowd which swelled so large it made the o2 appear double in it’s enormity. I caught myself by surprise that night. It was the 1st of March and I had tickets to Ellie Goulding sprung on me unexpectedly. As someone who was more inclined towards hard rock and dark grimy rap, something strange was happening, I was actually enjoying this change of pace.
Ellie Goulding is a delicate rockstar; an enigma of soft feminine energy and bold charisma. Her warm thundering voice was as dazzling as it was slight and I quickly found myself in fan-girl mode despite my edgier inclinations. I was shocked at how domineering and powerful this girl’s energy was as she filled the arena with her classic hits ‘Burn’, ‘Lights’, ‘Your Song’ and ‘How Long Will I Love You’.
Ah Ellie. Standing there with my disgustingly over-priced beer, breathing in a heavy waft of secondhand smoke I felt as though I was transported and snuggled in a warm fuzzy duvet being serenaded by this blonde Goddess as I sipped some camomile tea. It was a truly beautiful and invigorating set that honestly could have been enjoyed by anyone.
I think this is a testament to the power of live music. Every time you flick through radio stations and music channels searching for a sound that’s familiar or a band you love it’s easy to skim over new and existing talent that could open your mind to something new. Seeing an artist live who’s album I never would have even considered checking out has inspired me to expand my music collection and make an effort to go to more live gigs.
Music is food for the soul and live music is a banquet. You cannot experience an artist and feel for yourself what they’re about until you see them up there, painting their melodic canvas with their own unique energy.
I didn’t fit in with the crowd; my black hair and tattoos definitely set me apart from the rest but this is the unfortunate problem with marketing in the music industry. So often we are ‘unwelcome’ to indulge in alternative genres because we are told by the media it is not for us and we do not fit the label. I say f**k that. Don’t set limits when it comes to art. This summer go and see a band you’ve never seen before and get outside the box a little bit.
Live music is music at it’s purest most authentic form. Ellie Goulding’s intoxicating show in the o2 1st March 2014 is an experience I won’t be forgetting in a hurry. I left for the long walk down the Canal Docks in a light and fluffy giddy sort of mood and for the first time ever I didn’t encounter one fight or agitated Luas passenger. I never would have expected a mainstream pop-icon to invoke such a sense of unity and friendliness amongst strangers, my friends and I got talking to people we never would have conversed with in real life and I felt a sense of nostalgia for a similar experience at the Knockanstockan festival in the Wicklow mountains, the last time I felt musically nourished.
So what I’m trying to say is this: In my opinion, looks can be deceiving and marketing in the media can sadly fence us in to our musical comfort zones. I think it’s important to know what we like and know where our passions lie but also to not exclude ourselves from the bright platter of melodic tastes at our disposal. Be bold and think as an individual, not only as a group or a collective when it comes to your music interests. Many people including myself become so attached to an image and a character that we neglect to explore and branch out into alternative avenues.
An artist such as Ellie Goulding who I once saw as boring, bland and generic actually turned out to be an exciting and enchanting surprise. This multi-instrumentalist changed her clothes after every three songs or so, played guitar, piano and had a strength in her voice cultivated through years of dedication and passion. Ellie Goulding treats her fans to the best show she has in her and her generous encore was packed with heart and genuine gratitude. I would thoroughly recommend splashing your cash on this multi-talented beauty, regardless of your predispositions or tastes.