Florence + The Machine Slays at The Hollywood Bowl

Florence Welch performing at the Hollywood Bowl with Florence + The Machine
Photo by Lillie Eiger

AN UNFORGETTABLE ENTRANCE

I’ve been to a lot of shows at the Hollywood Bowl and it’s not my favorite venue (I prefer The Greek). But if you ask non-concertgoers in Los Angeles, they will overwhelmingly endorse the Bowl. It’s legendary. Plus, it certainly helps that the Bougie wine-and-cheese crowd can pay a little extra to sit inside a glorified box. It was not until seeing Florence + The Machine that I finally realized the true value of that venue. At approximately 9:15 p.m., Florence Welch entered the stage in unison with her very talented musicians, and it was as if the heavens opened up and released a gift from G-d amidst the stars and the mountains. The aesthetics of a show are often overlooked, and she optimized every inch of available space. Her staging was impeccable, with perfect lighting and a background that made the large area feel incredibly intimate.

As for the fashion, Florence wore an ethereal dress with a fluid fabrication that created a free-spirited ease while she performed. As she threw her entire body into each song and effortlessly floated around the stage, the lyrical layers of her dress created an irreverence matched only by her personality. At times she suggested that we all hold hands and express our love — even to total strangers. Though I did not obey, her oddities only added to the experience.

HER NEW RECORD, HIGH  AS HOPE, IS OUT NOW

Florence is on tour to promote her third album, ‘High As Hope,’ and I was unfamiliar upon arrival. This ultimately served as an advantage. My brain did not fill in the gaps, so the experience was fresh and unbiased. The fact that her live performance exceeded the record is an incredible accomplishment. There’s a lot of time to perfect an album, but there’s only one moment to perform it. When done right, the dramatic effect is unmatched.

There was a moment when Florence sang “Patricia,” and one particular verse stuck out.

“You’re a real man, and you do what you can / You only take as much as you can grab with two hands / With your big heart, you praise G-d above / But how’s it working out for you, honey? / Do you feel loved?”

Because she revealed the song to be about “toxic masculinity,” this moment created a palpable intensity, as if she was singing directly to the man in question.

WATCH FLORENCE DISCUSS HER CREATIVE PROCESS

I do not say this lightly, but of all the concerts I’ve seen in my life, Florence + The Machine is the strongest. Watch below to see Florence Welch give Seth Meyers a little insight into her meticulous creative process.

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