Brit sensation Ellie Goulding had a Vega debut to forget Wednesday night after a concert that failed to hit the soprano highs that her vocal range tends to soar to. A commendable warm-up by the sharpy Charli XCX left the crowd salivating for the same, as the 19-year-old prodigy showed just why she’s good enough to open for the likes of Coldplay.
Goulding then took the stage at a packed-to-capacity Store Vega (the original concert had been moved from Lille Vega due to popular demand), backed by a trio of instrumentalists. Opening with tracks such as ‘Don’t say a word’ off her 2012 album Halcyon, the BBC Sound of 2010 winner got off to a slow, uninteresting start. Things got better though, as the popular ‘Hanging on’ track, also off the Halcyon album, shot a dose of fresh impetus into the evening. A particularly witty electric guitar solo at the end of this song is worth a mention.
As the night went on, Goulding ventured into melancholic, pensive moods, as tracks such as the ironic ‘Joy’ resonated through the still evening air. ‘Your Song’, her hotly pursued cover of the original by Elton John, and ‘Without your love’, a riveting rendition about resurgence after failures in love, managed to add some sparkle to an otherwise average performance. As Goulding herself playfully noted at different points in her performance, the audience were very quiet or, as she put it, “polite and well-mannered”. At one point she cheekily told someone off for yawning and generally didn’t seem too enthused playing to the Danish crowd, an audience that a fellow Brit, Mike Skinner of The Streets, has described as “one of the hardest to please”.
This notwithstanding, the show did have its memorable moments, particularly towards the end, as signature tunes such as ‘Starry eyed’ saved the day. A ravenous applause ensued at the end of it all, and Goulding took her time before coming on again for an encore to a late boomer of a crowd that had mysteriously conspired to save their passion for the end of the show. That things didn’t quite peak as they should have was no fault of Goulding’s, whose stellar soprano voice chirps with a winsome sophistication rich in originality and quick wit.