PHOTO GALLERY: Ellie Goulding Live in Boston

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Where: Agganis Arena – Boston, MA
When: March 17, 2014
Highlight: A feast of dance-pop escapism.

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For Saint Patrick’s Day, Ellie Goulding mixed Boston a strong cocktail of heady folktronica and extra-dirty synthpop. The English singer/songwriter took the stage at the Agganis Arena amidst a tempest of electric guitars and heavy drums as she launched into “Figure 8,” off the album Halcyon. As one of Goulding’s few non-love songs, “Figure 8” showed off her inner rock-star with a thrilling performance punctuated by bursting lightning and thick, rolling fog.

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The thrill waned as Goulding dipped into her archive of love songs and covers from debut album Lights. “Life Round Here” and “Guns and Horses” were performed beautifully, but there were more than a few yawns coming from the audience; however, it was Goulding’s much-beloved cover of Elton John’s “Your Song” that had even the guy perpetually taking pictures in front of me actually enjoying a moment.

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“Time to pick up the energy in here,” Goulding said, taking a quick sip of water before a sample of M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls” flooded the arena. The song synced effortlessly into “Only You” as Goulding alternated between body-rolling and pounding violently on tribal drums. Note to self: never get on Ellie Goulding’s bad side. Though, she could happily dance on my grave.

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Goulding kept Boston’s buzz going with “Lights,” which had the pop tart flitting around the stage like a tireless sprite. And “Anything Could Happen” was an audience lesson in dancing within your own personal bubble. All failed. Bass-heavy “Burn” closed out the show, leaving Goulding’s dreamy vocals lingering like a wonderful hangover long into the night.

Photos by Ian Doreian

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