By Lisa Woolfson

Florence + the Machine brought a magnetic presence to the audience at The Anthem with their energetic pop rock sound on Oct. 5-6.

Their tour is to promote their new album “High as Hope”.

Florence Welch floated onstage to thunderous applause. Running and jumping across the stage barefoot and talking in a slow breezy voice, she acted like she had just taken a hit of something spectacular before gracing us with her presence. It was hard to tell where stage Florence ended and real Florence began, and perhaps that was the idea.

Sean Kelly, 28, wearing a flower crown, said “Florence is a perfect angel, as always.”

The whole band was very talented, but Welch really stole the show. She sang her heart out, danced her way across the stage and even ran off to the crowd to hug and hold hands with audience members.

The band started out with a couple of songs from their new album. The songs were good, but slower and quieter than the thunderous rage we’re used to hearing in their music. I believe their older albums are better, and the audience seemed to agree.

Florence + the Machine were at their best when performing classic hits like “Cosmic Love” or “Ship to Wreck.” Florence running around the stage singing these loud and chaotic songs was why we were all here in the first place.

Her voice was just as good live, if not better, than it is on albums. Her loud, but elegant vocals absolutely electrified the audience.

One of the best performances of the night was the classic “Dog Days Are Over.” Florence did something unusual for this famous number. She told everyone to put their phones and recording devices away and to jump and dance to the music without having to worry about anyone watching or recording them. She created a kind of safe space within the walls of The Anthem.

This concert was really all about the music. There were some lights and some flags but there were no pictures in the background, no music videos. It was mostly just Florence + the Machine and their instruments. Just like it should be. They didn’t need a ton of background distractions because their music was enough.

Abigail Landesman, 18, said, “The whole concert had a heavenly vibe — the lights, her dress, her dance moves and the way she talked.”

A lot of people seek out entertainment to avoid the stressfulness of everyday life, including the news. But this concert, on the night that Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate, was not for those avoiding politics. Without mentioning the judge or any senators by name, Florence chose instead, to instill positivity in her audience who might need it after a day that may have been trying for some.

“If you’re here it’s because you believe in women so thank you,” she said. “I just want to say please do not give up hope.”

Some fans really appreciated this sentiment.

Molly Brener, 24, called the concert “a spiritual awakening” and said, “I am ready to tackle anything post-Kavanaugh confirmation hearing that is about to happen to us.”

Florence + the Machine ended the night with an encore and the last song they played was “Shake it Out.” A lot of people had been yelling for her to play this song throughout the concert so the excitement in the room was tangible. It felt like the whole place was dancing and singing along.

Ending the concert on a favorite from an old album wrapped up the show perfectly, leaving the audience buzzing with energy and wanting even more.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Florence + the Machine’s Facebook page.

Lisa Woolfson is a junior journalism and government and politics major and can be reached at lisasamw@gmail.com.

One comment

  1. I appreciate your review, but I disagree with your perspective that her older albums are better than High as Hope because they are more powerful or more chaotic. I don’t think it’s about being better or worse than previous work, I think Florence shows growth in her music. She even said so during this specific show, that the previous albums consisted of drunken shows and yelling and breaking things. While maybe to some that is more fun, Florence’s new music and show aesthetic emphasis her maturity and awareness of her musical influence on herself and others. The fun and entertainment of her show came from her awareness of message in her song, such as hope and action. Overall, her newer music shows growth in what she thinks about music and remains as poetic as ever. Besides, there was definitely some anger in her newest album, especially in “100 Years” and “Patricia,” for things like patriarchy and unfair treatment of women.

    As for the audience, we blew up at the opening notes of her newest songs. I don’t see where you got that we agreed that her older stuff is “better.” Everyone knew all the words and were excited for every next song.

    I respectfully disagree with some of your comments on Florence’s music but I appreciate your review and insight into Florence and the Machine. I am an avid fan and I attended the second show in DC. I am also a student journalist and wish you the best. I am commenting on your article just to provoke some conversation about my favorite artist. Thank you!

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