It may have been the biggest venue the
The last few years, Britain has produced several powerhouse singers that have blown up at home and gone on to success on these shores, such as
"Halcyon" was written after a breakup, and at the Aragon, Goulding tugged at heartstrings, leading the audience through longing, disillusionment, and also catharsis. The ballad beginnings of "Halcyon" became a confession and a mantra. "You show me what it feels like to be lonely," she sang as almost a sigh, before a crescendo of beats were eclipsed by an insistent "It's gonna be better" refrain, as if repeating the phrase would make the words so. Her cover of Active Child's "Hanging On," pointed the futility of clinging to the past, complete with a tingly falsetto, programmed stuttery vocal manipulations and an EDM-styled build and drop adding emotional emphasis. The visceral "My Blood," whose early verses were unfortunately a bit lost in the mix, grew to a loop-enhanced chorus of acceptance: Goulding's voice both raw and pleading.
Some songs in the set were a little scattershot. "Guns and Horses," where Goulding donned an acoustic guitar and treaded more folky territory, sounded out of place next to her more propulsive material, and newer ballads, such as "Explosions," tended to plod as well. Still, by the time she ushered in the buoyant "Anything Can Happen," she made a case for hope after heartbreak and her new musical direction.