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That’s A Wrap! What’s Up? Re-Cap: Florence + The Machine

Jun 10, 2015 04:42PM ● By Melissa Lauren

Photo courtesy of Florence + The Machine.

Fearless and spectacular British Singer/Songwriter, Florence + The Machine performed at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Tuesday, June 9th in support of her latest album, How Big How Blue How Beautiful. Baroque Gospel with a voice that pierces with intensity, cutting through sophisticated orchestration, with a power that matches the bright color of her flaming red hair, she conjures the crowd’s ear like a priestess with fingers dancing on the air holding the same space as the harp accents grounded by organ sounds – This is Florence + Lungs + Heart + Soul + The Machine.

Florence spoke during the show about how she was happy to be back performing in the states, “I’m very grateful to the U.S. for all the support you’ve given me since the very beginning. I’m happy to be back, especially at this venue.” She went on to explain that it was during her last performance at Merriweather where her latest song, the title track of her new album, How Big How Blue How Beautiful began in its nebulous stages. “It was the very beginning of a relationship. I was in love and my heart was open. And then, it gets complicated and that happens. But I’m happy to be back here again because it is reminding me of the feeling I had then. And although that love is lost, I share this song with other people I love and I hope you will remember all the people who you love as I sing this song”.

She starts center stage for her songs almost in a praying stance, then raises her arms up to the heavens, wailing. Florence runs stage left but you can’t see her feet move. Maybe it is the long white palazzo pants she has on or maybe it is simply that she has the energy of being shot out of a cannon. Later as a result of performing with wild abandon, she stumbles and falls. She picks herself up again and finishes the song. She remarks, “They always tell me to hold back but I just don’t know how to do that. If you hold back, you’ll never fall, and then you’ll never learn how to get back up again. Shall we dance?” Then without missing a beat, she starts singing and the crowd dances.

Florence introduced her new song, St. Jude by saying, “this is the first time we’ve ever performed this song live so here goes” and the band performed it like pros. Her band consists of drums, guitar, bass, harp, horn section, two backup singers, and electronic synched music, and live effects. Some may say too many notes but this fan thinks they produce a fully fleshed out sonic and almost religious experience. Ship to Wreck, off the new album was complimented by the chorus of concertgoers who sang along word for word. During What Kind Of Man, (another new tune) there was crowd interaction as Florence ventured into the masses, masking the faces of male admirers with her hand pushing them away singing, “What kind of man loves like this?” They were proudly dissed in her wake.

During her second encore she encouraged the crowd to take their clothes off. They complied. She didn’t have time to bat an eyelash before items of clothing were flying on stage. She picked up a few items and said, “What? No pants? Take off your pants! (laughing)” She proceeded to use a blue shirt, swinging it around, doing Pete Townshend Pinwheels. She closed the show performing Kiss With A Fist. That song is responsible for her discovery. She was singing it “in a pub after a lot of pints in the ladies’” and it perked up the ears of a music industry professional who was also in the loo. Fast forward to now and she performs the fateful song to a sold-out crowd of fans screaming like banshees. Upon leaving the show, amongst the devotees, a fan is overheard saying with dedication, “She is Jesus! She just is!”

- Melissa Lauren