As naysayers pointed the finger at Ellie Goulding with allegations of lip syncing at Saturday’s AFL Grand Final, the following night the Britpop star tossed her hair and laughed it off. “You guys know how much I love to lip sync right?” she asked a clamouring audience at the Enmore on Sunday night. An ecstatic crowd of acne-ridden selfie-posers had sold out the one-night-only performance, eager to see the glamourous songstress. After touring alongside Taylor Swift and performing at the Royal Wedding, she was unashamed to relegate the AFL uproar to just “that football thing”.
The night opened with Asta, the winner of 2012 Unearthed High and an energetic teeny bopper with the voice of a husky Motown crooner. If Ellie is a pop princess, Asta is the lady-in-waiting, surging with ambition and promise, determined to show she is worthy of the crown. She bounced around the stage in hot pants with hair-whipping galore, delivering a punchy, blasting performance that had the rest of the twenty-one year-olds screaming for more.
And they got what they wanted. Before Ellie emerged onstage the six piece band opened with Outside, her collaboration with Calvin Harris, and even before her trademark breathy timbre was heard the crowd could not hold themselves back. While the back up singers stole the show with superstar choreography of their own, the audience were literally up and dancing in the aisles of the Enmore mezzanine. When she finally came out it was to absolute rapture, her saccharine soprano belting over the heads of the screaming teenagers. At the start of the performance she spent a lot of time writhing behind a fan (not a hysterical teen fan, but a fan of the air-blowing variety) but soon she loosened up, chatting to the crowd and moving about the stage carefree, and it became easier to get caught up in the hype of the show. The back up singers were the most visually captivating part of the show, however nothing could overshadow the star’s powerful and unique voice. With a three-octave range Ellie could jump around her register effortlessly, adding depth and bounce to otherwise standard electro-pop. Her cover of Your Song was a soft moment for a singalong, while Anything Can Happen was the crowd favourite. Ellie finished with Burn and a guitar around her neck, strumming out the power chords and wishing everyone well until her tour next year. Ellie Goulding… more like Ellie Good-sing… er.