Florence Welch once wanted to be a witch; she tried Wicca, wore black frocks, lived the subculture; and while she avoided taking stage last night with broom betwixt the legs, she flew into Boston in an inspired frenzy, and just as quickly, and with quite the howl, she took off once more.
As part of a stateside tour in support of her debut record, Lungs, the downright unique Florence and her Machine marched with serious bravado through the Paradise last night, for a sold out gig in the Paradise. With some serious pipes, Florence used those lungs, swaying stage left to stage right to belt out tunes that mesh the greatest of jazz, pop, and even 70s punk.
Strutting about the stage in a sheer, sparkly cape-like coverlet and sans any pants of sorts, Welch exuded the kind of power behind vocals unmatched in recent years; holding notes for what felt like five minutes intake of breath, it was as if Florence stole each gig-goers pair of lungs to aid in her vocal strength, affording the chance to create a brilliant build-up of angst and intimacy. This offered gig-goers an intimate look inside her musical madness and mania–and if there were ever a moment to be a part of something special, if hectic, this was it.
What’s more, Welch treated the kittens to intriguing live versions of tunes like “Kiss with a Fist” and rousing crowd participation on “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)”; pleasers included much rotated of late “Dog Days Are Over” and “You’ve Got the Love” with a gracious Florence including many “Thank yous” to such a celebratory audience on her first visit with The Machine to Boston.
While it took Florence awhile to find music (she got her start in installation art, among other creative endeavors), it’s clear, with this new stateside tour and plenty of critical acclaim and a voice to back up all the fodder, she’s well on her way to carving out a serious place for herself in the instrumental world.
File Under: Florence, your dog days, they’re over. And after seeing you? P&C’s are, too.
Florence and the Machine hits a few more cities (New York, Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle, San Fran…) before a stop at the Coachella Festival at the end of April.