Florence and the Machine wows on “Ceremonials” tour
The first act to play was a band called the Maccabees, who were excellent. Their sound was a good complement to Florence and the Machine’s, and when Florence Welch, the “Florence” in Florence and the Machine, joined them for a final song, the result was fantastic.
The second act was a singer called The Weeknd. He wasn’t bad, but it seemed like a weird choice. His smooth, hip-hop style was almost the opposite end of the musical spectrum of Florence and the Machine’s. They are immediately recognizable for their use of pounding percussion, booming gospel choirs, and a harp.
When Welch finally stepped on stage, the amphitheater exploded with so much applause, you almost couldn’t hear her belting out the first few notes of “Only if for a Night”.
Welch was completely barefoot the entire time, for obvious reasons. She ran, jumped, skipped, and spun around the stage with so much energy shoes would only be a hindrance.
Welch’s voice is probably the best you can hear on the radio today. It’s powerful enough to balance a gospel choir, as she demonstrated with “All This and Heaven Too” and “Cosmic Love”, but it also has a vulnerable, emotional quality to it, as she demonstrated with “Spectrum”.
The highlight of the night was an acoustic rendition of “Leave My Body”. The band and choir was stripped back, letting Welch’s beautiful, rich voice absolutely soar. I had chills by the second chorus.
She ended the show with a performance of the smash hit “Dog Days Are Over” that had the entire audience standing, singing along, and clapping to the beat.
If you’re not a fan of Florence and the Machine already, those spellbinding 90 minutes would certainly be reason enough.
Only If for a Night
What the Water Gave Me
All This and Heaven Too
Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)
Leave My Body
Shake It Out
No Light, No Light
Lover to Lover
Dog Days Are Over