After a couple of weeks off the road, English singer-songwriter and pop chanteuse Ellie Goulding continues the latest leg of her juggernaut tour this week supporting 2015’s “Delirium.” She’ll perform in Minnesota on Thursday before headlining at Chicago’s Allstate Arena on Friday. Despite the downtime, Goulding and her troupe of musicians and dancers should be firing on all cylinders – they’re fresh from thrilling massive crowds at the Coachella Festival in Southern California in mid-April.
Goulding’s rise has been swift and steady since topping the BBC’s Sound of 2010 poll and releasing her debut album “Lights” that same year. Three years ago, local review outlet Concert Livewire heralded her as an “unpolished newcomer with underlying promise” when she opened for Bruno Mars’ sold-out Moonshine Jungle World Tour stop at United Center. Goulding has since earned gold record status for 2012’s “Halcyon” album in addition to numerous industry accolades.
“Delirium” saw a modest shift in focus from electronic music and synthpop toward ambitious, arena-friendly pop. The album has seen strong performance propelled by singles like “Something in the Way You Move” and its dance-floor groove. The album also includes the yearning “Love Me Like You Do,” originally recorded for the soundtrack to 2015’s racy drama Fifty Shades of Grey.
Following Prince’s untimely death on April 21, Goulding’s final two dates of her previous run included a breathless cover of “When Doves Cry” in tribute to the beloved artist before transitioning to a stripped-down and emotive version of her breakthrough U.S. single “Lights.” “I’ll probably never, ever, ever play it again,” she said of the Prince favorite to the crowd at San Diego’s Viejas Arena.
With the tour picking up in Prince’s hometown arena in the Twin Cities before continuing in Chicago, fans may expect the homage to remain as part of the set just a little longer. This summer on July 28, Goulding will return to Chicago for a performance at Lollapalooza’s 25th anniversary festival.
Jeff Elbel is a local freelance writer.