On Wednesday night, Florence + The Machine conquered the hearts, bodies and souls of every single person in The O2, with a magical and emotional show in Welch’s hometown.
Opting for a more neutral and calmer look with a wooden décor and warm lighting, the beautiful Florence introduced her pure, cleansed and calmer-self, opening the night with the first track from their album High as Hope – ‘June’.
The front-woman wearing a long, flowing, light-pink dress set the tone of the evening with mind-blowing vocals and her usual delicate movements, spiralling around the stage and reaching out to the audience.
“Hello London, we are Florence and The Machine – would you like to dance with us?” the singer asked with her sweet voice after ‘Hunger’ and ‘Between Two Lungs’.
In a flip of ginger hair, she jumped, spun and danced her way through ‘Only If for a Night’, while the machine worked its magic behind her.
The majestic performance of the orchestra-like ‘Queen of Peace’ was followed by Florence shedding a few tears of joy, admitting she was overwhelmed to be playing in London after so many years. To this, she also added a life lesson: “A revolution in consciousness starts within individuals, and hope has to become an action and not a wish.” How about that?
The audience was drinking her words when she asked everyone to hold hands – and onto each other – during ‘South London Forever’, which was a trip down memory lane for her and us Londoners.
The red-headed goddess and her machine then welcomed Patti Smith in the venue – not physically, but spiritually. The tribute – ‘Patricia’ – was a more serene version than the one on the album but was still as sincere.
While Florence ran into the middle of the crowd during ‘Delilah’, and leaned her head against a man’s forehead at the beginning of ‘What Kind of Man’, her fans couldn’t help but wonder what she was going to do next.
During the encore, the front-woman who appeared somewhat changed, brought back some old memories with ‘Shake it Out’, as if to prove she was cleansed and a different person.
What I really found gobsmacking about this show wasn’t only the impressive vocals that Florence Welch delivers every time without fault, but the stage presence and the way she engaged with the crowd. Not many artists know how to do that when performing at The O2.
But that lady sure can. And that is what makes a Florence + The Machine show so breathtaking. Mind-blowing vocals, awe-inspiring stage presence, and a machine that keeps on giving – what more could you ask for?
Between Two Lungs
Only If for a Night
Queen of Peace
South London Forever
Dog Days Are Over
Ship to Wreck
The End of Love
What Kind of Man
Shake It Out
Words: Lil Bonhomme