Last night my friend Tracie and I saw Florence + the Machine in concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion. It’s your typical outdoor concert venue with a pavilion and lawn seats, which I only mention because when the opening act started the temperature on my phone said it was 57 degrees, which is a little chilly for sitting outside for 4 hours. It is also a stark contrast to the temperature the last time I saw Florence + the Machine. They opened for U2 when I saw them in concert at M&T Bank Stadium last summer on one of the hottest days in Baltimore last year. I figured the approximate temperature difference between the two concerts was about 50 degrees, which is kind of mind boggling to me.
There were two opening bands The Maccabees and The Weekend. I liked the first band better than the second, but I probably won’t be looking any further into of their music.
Florence + the Machine was fantastic though. As I’ve mentioned many a time before my favorite concerts are ones in which the performers interact with the audience and themselves appear to be having a good time. I’ve been to far too many concerts where they musicians just get up on stage, play as if going through the motions and leave. I know Florence Welch has quite a stage presence, but I wasn’t expecting much from her in the way of audience interaction. Most of her songs are these grand, sweeping, epic things that almost lend themselves to the kind of concert where there is no audience interaction. She came out and sang the first three songs straight through without saying anything, so I expected that to be the way the whole concert was going to go. After the third song though she stopped to talk to the audience and encourage some participation. After that she generally said something between each song. It wasn’t any kind of behind the music storytelling, which is something I really like in a concert, but at least she was definitely engaged with the audience. Her pronunciation of Maryland, which she said a lot during the concert, amused me greatly. She said it more like Mary land as opposed to how American’s pronounce it. I also noticed both her and various members of the Machine (I guess) with huge grins on their faces at various points in the concert, so they were obviously enjoying themselves and that’s all I really ask.
As previously alluded to Florence Welch definitely has a stage presence. Both times I’ve seen her live she has worn these sweeping, flowing outfits that are perfect for all the movement she does on stage. There’s lots of dancing, jumping, sweeping arm movements, spinning, etc. I kind of get the impression that she lives on an entirely different plane of existence than I do and I find it kind of awesome.
Usually going into concerts I have a handful of songs that I’m hopeful the musicians will play. I didn’t have anything specifically in mind for last night because as you may have noticed by the many times I have already written about (ok that last one isn’t really about Florence, but the video clip featured in the post is set to a Florence song that I love) Florence + the Machine on this blog I love just about all of her music. I’m sure at some point I’ll write about more of her songs. If someone has pressed me though and insisted I tell them what songs I wanted to hear I probably would have gone with Howl and Never Let Me Go, sadly neither of which she played. However, I’m not sure what songs I would have had her cut from the set in order to play those, so I guess it doesn’t matter.
If you get the chance to see Florence + the Machine in concert I highly recommend it. I heard that when she is done with this tour she plans to take at least a year off from music so you might want to jump on that now if possible. For now I will leave you with one of my favorite songs from last night via someone’s camera phone video.