6/10/15 – Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

A mermaid washed up on the Boston harbor last night.

Her lower half was a glittering ocean blue, and her wavy red hair flowed behind her. Miss Florence Welch made a home for herself inside the white clamshell that is Blue Hills Bank Pavilion.

She floated out from the fog onto the stage with a ringing “What the Water Gave Me,” backed by a choir of singers and fans, their voices echoing the chorus off the tented roof.

Just weeks ago she was anchored to a stool after an energetic leap off the Coachella stage broke her foot. Apparently, it had fully healed: She sprinted from one side of the stage to the other; she pranced and pirouetted; she made laps around the crowd, running away from the security guard with a gleeful, mischievous grin spread wide across her face.

Sometimes she returned to the serenity of the sea, slowly waving like a single seaweed on “Long & Lost,” or doused in blue light for the introduction of “What Kind of Man,” her arms stretched wide– as if floating on her back against the shimmering reflections of the hundreds of silver squares of the backdrop.

Her explosive energy was contagious– and inclusive. She swam into the crowd and brought them up onstage, and wore their flower crown offerings. She presented “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” as if it were a gift (“It started this whole journey and it began as a message to someone I loved and over time it became a message to everybody I loved, and now it can be a message to people you love, too”) which it was. She conducted the crowd with her microphone baton as the harp fluttered behind her and horns blasted triumphant waves of sound.

The entire amphitheatre somehow coordinated a synchronized stutter-clap to “St. Jude,” but it was the beat of the bass drum that gave us all of the feels. The low pulse was muffled by the expansive space of the venue, sounding eerily like a heartbeat underwater.

She ended the encore with the song “that started it all” (a song by her original band, Ashok, which we now know as “Kiss With A Fist”), making her way back into the crowd, a frenzied song and dance that left us wanting more.

From Shore to Shore: Florence and the Machine
PROS
  • Contagious enthusiasm and energy
  • Tons of crowd interaction
  • Held notes and slightly altered songs to be different from recorded versions
CONS
  • Horn section wasn't fully taken advantage of
9.1Overall Score

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