This week Ellie Goulding brought her Delirium World tour to Bethlehem, PA as she performed what has to be one of the most unique dates of the tour so far. The show was originally booked to be held in the Sands Bethlehem Event Center but circumstances arose that forced the show outside to the nearby Artsquest Complex. The Sands Steel Stage was constructed in under 24 hours in a modified fashion as things were scrambled together to accommodate the switch. The stage is normally only constructed for Musikfest, which runs August 5 – August 14 this year, and is usually put together over a much longer period of time. That being said the end result was perfect for this show as it coupled with Ellie Goulding’s production (what could fit at least) made for a perfect kick off show of Summer.
The weather was warm as the sun beat down on the stage in the hours that lead up to the concert but that warmth quickly retreated and transformed into a cool spring air by the time Ellie Goulding took the stage just passed 8:30PM. For about a solid 10 minutes before Goulding took the stage the crowd was heard chanting her name over and over again as they danced along to the pre-show music that was being played.
An introduction video played on the massive LED screen that flanked the back portion of the stage as dancers made their way on to the stage as the introduction to “Aftertaste” began to echo out across the make shift standing room crowd. Musikfest shows are always seated and it was incredible to see a packed standing room crowd in their place, it gave a fresh and unique vibe to the show that isn’t normal to see in this space.
With grace an air of confidence not often seen Ellie Goulding strutted on stage shortly after the opening bit of “Aftertaste” played and immediately began to deliver top tier vocals. Her newest album to which the album is named after is easily her strongest material to date and is arguably one of the best pop/alternative albums released in the past 5 years. It took Goulding very little time to show why she has sold out nearly every date of this tour so far as she danced around the stage and commanded the crowd effortlessly. Goulding wasted no time getting the night moving as she jumped right into “Holding on for Life,” another track off her most recent release.
Ellie Goulding performed for a solid 90 minutes as she packed in 22 songs in total that spanned her entire career but focused heavily on new material off “Delirium.” Though she said early on that she wouldn’t be able to talk much due to a strained voice this didn’t impact the performance in any way as she was still able to deliver a top-tier performance that the Sands Steel Stage hasn’t seen in a very long time. Goulding seemed to enjoy the non-traditional stage set up as she took time to prance from side to side frequently during the show and even made her way down the catwalk/t-stage set up a few times to dive deeper into the crowd. A few highlights of the show included her most recent song with Calvin Harris “Outside” that featured cascading cannons of Co2, a beautiful acoustic version of her colossal hit “Lights”and of course a strong rendition of “Love Me Like You Do” that had everyone singing towards the end of the night.
Despite the drama and last minute planning that forced the show outdoors this Ellie Goulding concert will easily go down as one of the most iconic and memorable shows to take place in the Lehigh Valley this year. Goulding’s talent extends well beyond the studio and her live shows really allow her music to become a live. Ellie Goulding restores faith in pop music and while she has announced that she plans to take some time off after this tour she can rest easy as no one will be able to steal her throne as the “True Queen of Pop” from her anytime soon.
Be sure to check out exclusive photos of the Bethlehem performance below :