Dark Saturday afternoons in Los Angeles, especially in October, usually signal gloom and doom. After all, who would want to leave the safe enclave of their home when the weather as of late has been in the upper ‘70s and sunny? Alas, very few things on a college football Saturday seemed enticing, and on this day, it was seeing Ellie Goulding perform at The Standard Downtown hotel.
Seeing a performer who has had as much success as the Brit in such an intimate setting would be worth it regardless of the weather. The Standard Downtown’s pool generally is the hotspot on a sunny day, but the inclimate weather is what added to the atmosphere and the charm of the event. Unlike her show at the Troubadour and appearance at Amoeba Records, somehow word didn’t trickle out about Goulding’s appearance and the lucky insiders who caught a glimpse of her during her brief, stripped down set were pleased with what they saw.
With fewer than 100 fans in attendance for the 'secret' filming of her Vevo Go Show, Goulding sang four songs and was backed by a keyboard and a guitarist, giving a type of warmth on a particular chilly day. Walking onto the makeshift stage (putting it nicely) at around 1 p.m., Goulding, sporting a knit hat and jacket, was in good spirits, even if it was hard to hear her at times due to the helicopter flying above and the annoying construction below. Being that this was a short set, Goulding was over and done in about 15 minutes, but not without leaving fans and onlookers smiling.
There were several points where the singer’s pipes burst through the noise and distraction and showed her talents. It’s hard enough to sing in a non-traditional venue, but to sing acapella? That’s completely different. Naturally she played some of her songs that have been fixtures on the radio but they sounded different in their purest form. It’s hard to remember that many songs, even those of the electropop variety, have the formula of simple acoustic songs written by singer/songwriters. Hearing Goulding, at least on this day, as a singer/songwriter gave a glimpse to who she is as n artist. It’s not easy to deviate from what works and there were moments where she could have packed it in, like when the aforementioned helicopter drowned out her vocals. No problem, she just laughed it off and did the song again as if nothing happened.
Even on a dreary day, Ellie Goulding managed to light up Los Angeles. It was nice to see the singer in an intimate setting showing her chops as a musician before she headed back to a normal stage later that night at the House of Blues with Rita Ora and PSY (you know, “Gangnam Style”) and reminded the lucky attendees how talented of a musician she truly is.