Review: Florence and the Machine
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 14:09
The increasingly popular Indie-pop Florence and the Machine took over the USF campus Tuesday night.
The band, started by front-singer Florence Welsh, Isabella Summers and a number of background instrumentalists in 2007, captivated the attention of the packed audience from the moment they took stage.
The set started with a harp solo introducing lead singer Florence Welch and a song from the Ceremonials album, “Only If for A Night”.
Welch emerged from her own shadows against the backdrop and immediately connected with the audience with her haunting stare, vocals and hand gestures.
For the next three songs, she continued to play into the eerie atmosphere she had set, moving about as if her body had become possessed by the rhythm of the music, staring doe-eyed into the air and the crowd.
It wasn’t until Lungs from her premiere album that Welch broke out of her eerie spell and came alive with the music.
The entire set then ignited as Welch danced through the crowd to “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)”.
The set background moved from artistic images of lungs and other organs to a vibrant stained glass window projecting a zoomed-in video of Welch singing.
After “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)”, the atmosphere continued to grow into a more energetic, exciting performance as Welch crowned the rest of the band with floral headbands created by a fan in the audience, and as she sung “Spectrum (Say My Name)” Welch encouraged the crowd to
embrace each other as she belted out this more upbeat pop song.
Welch’s haunting intensity returned as she sung the spiritual and chilling “Leave my Body” acapella. The set finished in an encore with probably the band’s two most popular and recognized songs — “What the Water Gave Me”, and their single that started their stardom “Dog Days Are Over”.
They band, which first reached nearly instant success with the release of their single “Dog Days Are Over,” made a name for themselves by combining ground-shaking instrumentals led by the romantic and elegant tune of a harp with Welch’s hauntingly powerful voice.
Unlike many artists, Florence and the Machine brings together an incredible vocalist with equally talented and powerful musicians.
Listening to albums is an experience in itself, but hearing the way Welch manipulates her voice live is a completely different grace altogether. She manages to keep herself under a creepy yet elegant spell throughout the entire performance while still being a quirky and energetic performer. Her haunting voice and performance accompanied by the equally haunting and intense instrumentals leaves one with an experience that may haunt him or her forever.