Concert Review: Florence + The Machine

Friday night my favorite band from across the pond, Florence + the Machine, graced the stage at Deer Lake Park to a packed crowd of nine thousand screaming fans. I was lucky enough to be there with a bunch of my friends and had the BEST time.

I had a few fears about the show as lead singer Florence Welch had cancelled two of her recent European dates after having lost her voice. Having witnessed what had happened to Adele last year, a lot of people were expecting it to be an extended illness causing the cancellation of more tour dates. Thankfully for me and everyone else in the crowd, not only did she regain her voice and perform the show, but her voice was as powerful and enchanting as ever.

My second fear for the show had to do with the weather. Although we’ve had a few good weeks here in Vancouver, the weather took a turn Friday morning when it started to rain. Throughout the day it was raining on and off and although I would have gone to the concert regardless, I think we all breathed a sigh of relief when the rain stopped just in time for the show. Having said that, I was begging the weather gods to pour down on me at one point. It would have been pretty magical.

The show opened with one of my favourite tracks off of Ceremonials, “Only If for a Night“. From then on, vocal power house Welch delivered a mind blowing, ethereal performance highlighting some of the best songs from their most recent album and reviving past favourites from their debut album, “Lungs“.

Saleem (far left), Matt (middle), Nic (second from right)

One of the best moments of the show was when Welch told the crowd to put someone on their shoulders and “raise them up” during the up tempo pop gem “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up).” I lifted one of my girlfriends up on my shoulders as did about half the crowd. The second half of the show slowed it down a bit with Welch delivering gut wrenching emotion with “Leave My Body” and “Seven Devils” and picked it back up with back to back anthems, “Shake It Out” and “Dog Days Are Over.”

After a short jaunt off stage, the band returned for an incredible encore featuring the stunningly beautiful “Never Let Me Go” and finishing the night off with, in my opinion, their most powerful song, “No Light, No Light.” Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for anything more from this show, except maybe for it to be about twice as long. It gave me everything I wanted and then some. I bought my tickets back in February and had been looking forward to it ever since. I think it may take the top spot as the best day/night of summer 2012.

The band has a select number of stops in the U.S. before returning to Canada in Montreal and Toronto. They pop back to Europe for some late summer festivals and return to finish their Ceremonials tour in the U.S. in September. If you haven’t already bought tickets and have the chance to get some, do it. You will not be disappointed.

Rating: 5 out 5 stars