Florence + the Machine certainly did have the love
with their Ceremonials Tour lighting up the O2 Arena in London last night.
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The special guest for the evening was HAIM, a trio of sisters from Los Angeles. Their guitar playing and vocals certainly exceeded our expectations, an absolute amazing talent and maturity: the absolute perfect choice to get the crowd geared up. We hope to hear more of them in the new year, and no doubt will with the accolades flooding in....
Opening the show with Only If For A Night, the arena roared as a silhouette of Florence appeared behind a screen on stage, surrounded by the band and a string orchestra. A simple design, so we knew that all eyes would be on her. It wasn’t long until What the Water Gave Me saw Florence leap around the stage getting the crowd up on their feet, singing, jumping and dancing along. The energy was like a Catherine wheel - on fire and whizzing around the place. Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) saw Florence jump off the stage and run along the front of the barrier. We think she still has an Olympic spirit about her, but the energy was never lost.
Keeping the mood simple and letting her vocals shine through like a ray of sunlight, which her smile seemed to do alone, it was until the simple plucks on the harp to You’ve Got the Love that yes, once again saw the song transform into the belting anthem that it is. There were moments of emotion, where you’d think Florence wanted to burst into tears; overwhelmed by how huge the arena was, and humbled to be playing in her hometown. Even telling us comical tales of how she visited the arena on school trips when the Dome was a science exhibition.
The forever held chord of Shake It Out made us feel like the song was never going to kick in, until telling us that the song was dedicated to all those who are going out after the show for a few drinks or two – happy hangover, but we appreciate the heads-up! Adding to that, we found it comical, yet sweet that she reminded us she’s from London – as if we didn’t already know?
Finishing the show with No Light, No Light, once again, running around the stage, yet those incredible vocals remained intact, and on key. It wasn’t long until she returned to the stage to perform an acoustic rendition of Sweet Nothing, before the whole crowd drowned her out by singing along to Spectrum; the whole arena blooming in colour and those vocals soaring through like thunder. Dedicating one last track to us, the show was brought to a close with Dog Days Are Over. Florence returned to her podium as the song started to settle down until, yes you guessed it, she raged back to the stage and had the hands of the crowd flowing in the air like the waves on an ocean.
The one moment that captured how brilliant the evening ended up being was seeing Florence reach out and give a simple wink – Anne Robinson eat your heart out – as she stood and embraced the cheers and affection being displayed. Bravo!
Words Daniel Johnston