Florence and The Machine at The O2 on the 12th of December
Florence and the Machine brought their ‘Ceremonials’ tour to an end with a fancy-dress farewell party in the O2. The tour has lasted for over a year, and has featured over a hundred performances all over the world.
Support was provided by promising up and comers Haim. They were full of American charm when engaging with the crowd, the sort of thing that you’ll either love or hate, but there’s no arguing with the quality of their tunes. The band have a very pop sound, with strong beats, keyboards and impressive vocals. But this pop framework is contrasted with a grittier guitar sound, and lengthy and skilful guitar solos are laced throughout their set. Songs like Forever and Don’t Save Me are catchy and lively and 2013 looks like a promising year for the Californian sisters.
Florence and the Machine took to the stage in bright clown costumes and launched straight into Only If For The Night. Immediately you are hit by the power of Florence’s voice, and this vocal mastery lasts for the whole night. Her voice is equally brilliant whether she sings soft and delicate or loud and grand. Her energy on What The Water Gave Me is fantastic, running and jumping all over the stage with wild abandon, lending the show a real party atmosphere. Cosmic Love was a standout performance, the slower intro allowing both Flo and the crowd to settle into their comfort zone, before the uplifting chorus. The hits just keep on coming, Rabbit Heart(Raise It Up) and You’ve Got The Love are both fantastic. Even with just two albums to her name, Florence’s setlist is packed with top-quality songs.
One of the most impressive and remarkable things about the concert, was the consistency that Florence showed. Every song was as good as the one before, and Florence’s voice doesn’t fade away or lose any of its intensity. Even album tracks like Heartlines or Leave My Body were highly impressive, although she did seem to tire a little bit, as her on-stage antics were less exuberant. However, what little momentum was lost was quickly regained with the majestic Shake It Out and No Light, No Light.
The encore though was truly fantastic, Kiss With A Fist saw a ferocious performance from Florence, and Spectrum was spectacular. After thanking her whole team for their work over the course of the tour, the band launched into a rousing rendition of Dog Days Are Over and Florence was joined onstage by the stage crew. This generated was a real celebratory atmosphere about the place.
The Machine were tight throughout, and they perform well when given the chance to impress. The bassline in What The Water Gave Me or the drums in Drumming Song were memorable moments, and of course the trademark harp really adds to the almost mystical aura surrounding Florence. The band also provided an atmospheric background between songs, allowing Florence to engage with the audience, which she did by sprinkling glitter everywhere or telling the crowd how great they were.
Florence and the Machine turned in a brilliant performance where song after song showcased the truly wonderful vocal talents of Florence Welch. She brings such energy to her performance, engages with the crowd effortlessly and she looks like she is really enjoying herself. This show brought an end to the Ceremonials album, so perhaps we can expect some new material emerging in 2013? In any case Florence confirmed herself as one of the finest live performers around.
Florence & The Machine Photo Gallery
Photos: Sean Smyth