Photos via stevenhle.tumblr.com, Review by special guest correspondent Angeleeta Sosnowski
Looking through my list of most anticipated shows in the first half of the year, I placed a large star next to the sold out Florence and the Machine event that kicked of May at the Palladium Ballroom in Dallas. The show sold out so quickly, many of my seasoned concert crew wasn’t able to get tickets. Flo is that hot right now, touring to support her sophomore album Ceremonials. Unfortunately we weren’t able to catch much of one of our favorite new artists, the opening support act Blood Orange. The video we did manage to get of him is listed below.
The crowd was primed and ready when a backlight Florence, complete with floor length cape, opened with the first song off of the aforementioned album, “If Only for the Night”. I was off to the side but could easily hear the mostly female voices singing along and see them waving their hands in the air.
The thing that struck me most was just how excellent Florence Welch’s voice was live. Subtle and nuanced during quiet moments, powerful when needed and full of expression throughout. With her long cape and propensity to spin, I couldn’t help but think of Stevie Nicks, who has a similar ethereal quality to her stage presence. “Leave My Body” was a perfect example of this blend of old world charm mixed with the modern concept of female empowerment. All the girls in the maxi dresses certainly swayed and twirled right along.
One of the highlights of the show was “Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)” when she asked the men in the audience to lift the ladies on their shoulders. And quite a few did which was charming and entertaining all at once. Flo and company hit their stride during their two biggest hits which closed the main portion of the show. At the opening chords of “Shake it Out” the crowd went absolutely wild and sung along with gusto. Her breakthrough hit, “Dog Days are Over”, even got the many ‘too cool to sing along’ types in my area singing and clapping to end the set. After a longer wait that I expected, the group returned to finish with a two song encore, “No Light No Light” being the better of the song choices.
Overall this was a solid show, reflective of the style and mystique surrounding Florence and the Machine. Everyone in my group enjoyed themselves, but no one was blown away. I think where we stood in the jam packed Palladium Ballroom, far away and off to the side, had a negative impact on the sound quality. Florence strikes me as one of those artists best seen in a larger setting such as a festival, where she has more room to dance across the stage and weave her unique blend of charisma and magic. But we’ll take her any way we can get her. Gold stars all around.
Video courtesy of Caleb Dickerson and Preston Jones