Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine has certainly enjoyed a whirlwind of success in her early career. Florence gained quick recognition on the 2008 festival circuit from fans and critics alike, even catching the BBC's eye at SXSW, consequently landing a spot BBC Introducing in September 2008. Florence was even nominated for the 2009 Mercury Music Prize, an honorary award for new UK artists, before the release of her debut album Lungs. As a fan, I too was just as eager to praise her name, "Dare I say, watch out Tori Amos, I believe Florence and the Machine is bound to take your throne..." @dotshiva 11Jun2009
On April 18, 2010 I got my first chance to see Florence and the Machine live at Coachella, however due to the massive crowd with the same idea and me being vertically challenged, I never actually saw her. Needless to say, when I found out she would stop in Las Vegas between her 2012 Coachella shows, I knew this was my best chance to finally be satisfied. Florence's popularity again won, completely selling out the show weeks in advance. Bless my lucky stars, somehow the heavens aligned and granted my wish to see Florence and the Machine.
Entering the stage just as angelically as I could have imagined, draped in a heavy, almost royal robe, Florence slowly broke the silence with her radiating voice. As she sang, Florence moved with such emotion and energy, it was as if she was singing and acting out each verse to the gods watching above us. During What the Water Gave Me, she threw off her dark cape to reveal a stunning silver sequined gown that shimmered gold in the light.
Florence continued through her incredible performance standing tall and as brilliant as an Emmy. Backed by an equally talented backup singer, harp player, and five other band members, the music perfectly reflected her voice's grace and intensity. The setlist and performance of songs was like floating on ocean waves; peaceful, beautiful, mixed with both ferocity and a soothing calm.
Keeping a lighthearted attitude alive after performing emotional songs was the key to her hold on the audience. Before playing Rabbit Heart, Florence encouraged all men to raise it up, "Put your girl on your shoulders and raise her up!" She also encouraged everyone to start jumping in sync to start Dog Days Are Over. Whether she got the crowd going or held us hypnotized in her voice, Florence and the Machine knocked her audience dead with exquisitely poetic song and dance.
Near the last song, Florence gazed over the audience to view the neon glow of the Las Vegas strip beyond and exclaimed, "This is definitely the most beautiful place we've ever played!" She laughed and continued, "Vegas is the best place for a nervous breakdown... it's amazing; so beautiful... You should go there!" I can only hope this means she will be back sooner rather than later. Florence and the Machine truly put on a world class performance that those in attendance will not soon forget.
VIDEO coming soon!
SETLIST: Only If For A Night, What the Water Gave Me, Cosmic Love, Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up), Breaking Down, Heartlines, Leave My Body, Lover to Lover, Shake It Out, Dog Days Are Over, Never Let Me Go
Encore: You've Got the Love, No Light, No Light