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Review: Florence and the Machine

The increasingly popular Indie-pop Florence and the Machine took over the USF campusTuesday night.The band, started by front-singer Florence Welsh, Isabella Summers and a number ofbackground instrumentalists in 2007, captivated the attention of the packed audience from themoment they took stage.The set started with a harp solo introducing lead singer Florence Welch and a song fromthe Ceremonials album, Only If for A Night.Welch emerged from her own shadows against the backdrop and immediately connected with theaudience with her haunting stare, vocals and hand gestures.For the next three songs, she continued to play into the eerie atmosphere she had set, movingabout as if her body had become possessed by the rhythm of the music, staring doe-eyed into theair and the crowd.It wasnt until Lungs from her premiere album that Welch broke out of her eerie spell and camealive 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 stainedglass 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 afan in the audience, and as she sung Spectrum (Say My Name) Welch encouraged the crowd toembrace each other as she belted out this more upbeat pop song.Welchs haunting intensity returned as she sung the spiritual and chilling Leave my Bodyacapella. The set finished in an encore with probably the bands two most popular andrecognized songs What the Water Gave Me, and their single that started their stardom DogDays Are Over.They band, which first reached nearly instant success with the release of theirsingle Dog Days Are Over, made a name for themselves by combining ground-shakinginstrumentals led by the romantic and elegant tune of a harp with Welchs hauntingly powerfulvoice.Unlike many artists, Florence and the Machine brings together an incredible vocalistwith equally talented and powerful musicians.Listening to albums is an experience in itself, but hearing the way Welch manipulates hervoice live is a completely different grace altogether. She manages to keep herself under a creepyyet elegant spell throughout the entire performance while still being a quirky and energeticperformer. Her haunting voice and performance accompanied by the equally haunting andintense instrumentals leaves one with an experience that may haunt him or her forever.