BY DAN GARCIA
Just a few weeks removed from her huge headlining performances at Coachella, Ellie Goulding brought her Delirium World Tour to Chicago’s Allstate Arena in Rosement, IL. What will be Goulding’s second Windy City performance of the summer, as she is scheduled to perform at Lollapalooza’s big 25th year anniversary, the arena was packed with Goulding’s fans who came ready to dance the night away. The ‘Love Me Like You Do’ singer didn’t come alone however, as the English singer/songwriter brought British electronic trio, Years & Years, and the immensely talented, Bebe Rexha.
Kicking off the night as the arena began to fill up was singer/songwriter Bebe Rexha. Perhaps known best now for her G-Eazy collaboration, ‘Me, Myself & I’, a record that Rexha wrote before it found its home on the Bay Area rapper’s most recent LP, Rexha is one of the most underrated songwriters of the past half-decade. Rexha got her big break when Eminem bought her track ‘Monster’, a record that previously had little backing from label heads. Lucky for Rexha, ‘Monster’ became a hit and ever since then the Brooklyn native has continued to prove her doubters wrong. Rexha has had some big festival appearances, has worked with the likes of Selena Gomez, Nick Jonas, David Guetta and Nicki Minaj (to name a few), and now of course she is on a huge U.S. tour leg with Ellie Goulding. During her live performances, Rexha converses with the crowd, reminding fans of catalog of records that she has worked on behind the scenes. Don’t be mistaken though, Rexha is much more than just a talented writer and is well on her way to putting “Bebe Rexha the artist” at the forefront of the records that she produces.
Following Rexha’s performance, electronic trio and London natives, Years & Years, hit the stage in Rosemont. Consisting of frontman Olly Alexander, Mikey Goldsworthy (bass guitar) and Emre Turkmen (keys), Years & Years has seen a great amount of success back home, especially with their hit single ‘King’, and that success has been carrying over to the states. Tonight fans saw performances of a number of the band’s records from their 2015 debut, Communion. Although they have been together since 2010, they really took their time in putting together a quality first studio project, and the results showed. Not only did their debut receive great reception from critics across the board, but its live performances tonight were definitely embraced by Ellie’s electropop fans in attendance.
After a brief intermission between sets, it was time for Ellie Goulding to hit the stage. Goulding has consistently raised in popularity in the U.S., and the energy throughout the arena was evidence of just that. After her 2010 debut, Lights, it would have been hard for many Chicago fans to imagine Ellie headlining her own show at the Allstate Arena. Just a few years ago, Goulding performed at Chicago’s Schubas Tavern, an intimate 550-capacity club in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood. In just a couple year’s time, Goulding would return to the city for a daytime set at Lollapalooza in 2013. So for the Delirium singer to headline an arena show that foreshadows a headlining Lolla performance is huge and indicative of her global success in the past few years.
Goulding’s performance tonight was very similar to her headlining set at Coachella this year, a performance which many thousands caught, whether live in Indio or via the festival’s live webcast. Opening with the Intro to her 2015 album, where the tour get its name, and transitioning into the LP’s second track, ‘Aftertaste’, Goulding performed the majority of Delirium, which brought fans singles like ‘Something In The Way You Move’ and ‘Love Me Like You Do’. Ellie Goulding’s performance tonight was much more than just a carbon copy of the album however. Mixing in intimate acoustic performances, a beautiful tribute cover to Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry’, and performing a few fan favorites from her first two albums, Halcyon and Lights, Ellie certainly put on a memorable performances that fans in attendance will definitely want to relive when Ellie returns to Lollapalooza this year on July 31st, as one of the festival’s final performances celebrating a quarter-century of great live music. If you get a chance to catch Goulding at Grant Park this year, jump on the opportunity.
Check out our photos from tonight’s performance below and check out the remaining dates for the Delirium World Tour here.
Photos by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration
Years & Years