SHOW REVIEW: Florence + The Machine at the Hollywood Bowl

  Photo credit:   CLTure

Photo credit: CLTure

There are two artists that I can look back on across all the concerts I've been to when I need a moment to push the negativity out of my life. Before this show, I would point only to Walk the Moon, but after seeing Florence + The Machine, I can add another artist to that list. 

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Florence + The Machine perform in Irvine, California, but it was an incredibly different show. Florence's ankle was injured, so she was sad to have to sit on a stool throughout her performance, expressing to the audience that she would rather be up and dancing around together. At this show, there was no injury restriction which allowed Welch to run around and create an energy that completely shocked me in the best way. 

From dancing along the semi-circle catwalk in the middle of the first few songs to sprinting halfway up the Hollywood Bowl to a second stage, Florence Welch did an incredible job of creating the most intimate environment possible in the iconic venue. Not only did she spark intimacy with her own movements, but she also encouraged audience members to hold hands with one another (even if that person was a stranger). Needless to say, I held hands with a stranger that night. The closeness I experienced with the audience did not stop there. During her performance of Dog Days Are Over, Florence + The Machine slowed the song, extending the bridge to allow Welch to speak to the audience. Feeling the beat of the drums beneath my feet, I heard Welch instruct: "Now I want everyone here, in the Hollywood Bowl, to put their phones...away. I want to see everyone's hands in the air, releasing the negative energy from their lives." She continued on to let the audience know that the moment should be just for the people at the show, furthering this sense of closeness and togetherness she did so effortlessly. When the song came back into full swing, everyone in the crowd went wild, Welch included. 

This moment of wonderment I experienced was not unique just to this song; performances for Hunger, Queen of Peace, 100 Years, and Delilah all created points of shock and awe. Details of how the performance on stage was captured and played back on the monitors for crowd members to see was incredible. Many artists will almost take advantage of monitors that playback to the audience, but for Florence + The Machine this was not the case. As the beat switched and Welch danced across the stage, the camera shots cut abruptly, intensifying any emotions paired with the song. This was particularly effective during the performance of 100 Years; I don't think I'll ever forget the feeling of being so frozen and excited all at once while watching an artist. 

Florence + The Machine also did a special performance of How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful for this show due to the fact that the song was inspired by our very location at the Hollywood Bowl. The performance brought a focus to the crowd that I had never felt before at a show. 

Aside from the show being amazing from visual performance, it was almost surprising how elegant and angelic Welch's voice was throughout the concert. I've been a loose fan of Florence + The Machine for a few years, but this show made me realize how much I was missing by not listening to this artist more often. While I might be able to go on about this show much longer, I will simply leave everyone with the recommendation to go change their lives by seeing Florence + The Machine live. 

Nina Baker-Manson, Promotions Director