Ellie Goulding and Bag Raiders 7/27 House of Blues Boston Review

By Laura McWhorter

Ellie Goulding is better than me at most things. No, no. Don’t try to make me feel better. It’s okay. I’ve accepted it. And while it may be hard to believe…if you had been at House of Blues last night, you’d agree. On the second (and much larger) leg of her us tour, Ellie Goulding came out to prove that she deserved her bigger digs. She succeeded.

I wore sneakers all day at work in anticipation of this show. I was expecting a dance party and with this line up…I knew I was in good hands. It’s very seldom that I pay super close attention to the opening acts but…then again…the opening act has never been Bag Raiders. I was thrilled to see Ellie was bringing them along with her and they definitely did not disappoint. Playing to an already packed House of Blues, the Australian duo and their electro dance beats had bodies moving immediately with ‘Gone Away’ and ‘Sunlight’. Think of the best party you’ve ever been to. It wasn’t this good. I promise. Forget that awkward moment that usually occurs during the opening act where people just dutifully sway – this was a high-test hootenanny (yeah. I said it.) from start to finish. Even when they tried to ‘slow it down’ with ‘So Demanding’, we were all still shakin’ it. It was impossible not to. The drum fills in ‘Not Over’, ‘Way Back Home’ and ‘Shooting Stars’ pulsed through the crowd and rattled my rib cage. At certain points I found myself bouncing around just because it was physically easier than standing still. We were the puppets and they were pulling the strings. If you’re lucky enough to get a visit from these guys before they go back Down Under…go see them. It was the kind of show that you wait for – no snotty fans, no tension and certainly no boredom. We were all content to just keep on wiggling to the music for the rest of the night.

Which is good…because that’s exactly what we did. Ellie was up next. My friends and I got the chance to see her at the much smaller Paradise Rock Club back in April. This was like Ground Hogs Day only better: 1) I’m not Bill Murray and 2) I had no desire to jump off a building. Wasting no time, the British songstress dove right in with ‘Under the Sheets’, ‘This Love’ and ‘Every Time You Go’. ‘Sheets’ is my favorite song so I was a little bummed it wasn’t saved for later in the set but this feeling didn’t last long. She consoled me with ‘Human’ and all was well. While we were definitely all there for a party, Ellie knows best and gave us a little break with a slow-jam interlude of ‘The End’, ‘Your Song’, ‘Wish I’d Stayed’ and ‘The Writer’ all back-to-back. I have to say, I wish she’d either played less slow bits or spaced them out. By the end of the fourth song, the energy racing through the crowd was palpable and I thought we might explode. Maybe that was the intent because when the rest of the band came back on for ‘Salt Skin’ and ‘Lights’…the walls shook. I feel perfectly comfortable in my sexuality saying that I could watch Ellie Goulding shake it on stage all night. Her energy is infectious and it’s hard to not have the time of your life. She closed out the set with ‘Animal’ and ‘Little Dreams’ and we didn’t shut up until she came back on for a bombastic encore of ‘Your Biggest Mistake’ and crowd fave ‘Starry Eyed’.

It’s now been over a month since I returned from the happy cloud that is Bonnaroo and, let me tell you, the transition has not been easy – until last night. The feel good vibe coursing through the crowd hearkened back to those four care-free days in a field in Tennessee – except we smelled better. It was almost cathartic. Two thousand people came to dance and leave the work and the stress and the problems at the door. As far as therapy sessions go…this was way better than an hour on a couch and MUCH cheaper. And since I still have two more days of work this week, mewonders if Ellie or Bag Raiders can pencil me in for an hour next Wednesday?

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