By Deb Kloeden, Rock At Night Australia
Venue: Botanic Park, Adelaide – January 16th, 2019
It was a hot summer night in Adelaide as I walked toward the beautiful Botanic Park primed for a very special evening with Florence And The Machine. The day had peaked at 40C and was still 37C at 6pm.
The evening opened with New Zealand singer-songwriter Marlon Williams who appeared on stage simply dressed in a white t-shirt and baggy short shorts, clearly dressing for the heat. A good crowd turned up early to hear his set, which featured an excellent range of old and new material.
Next up was American soul singer-songwriter Leon Bridges who also gave a powerful performance. During the breaks between acts the security staff in the photo pit squirted the crowd with big jets of water & handed out cups of water to help keep the punters cool and hydrated.
Finally, just on dark, Florence And The Machine made their entrance, the band members first, then finally Florence, looking like a barefoot angel wearing a shear, flowing white dress. The stage was set with large wooden-slatted tiered screens, which were lit from behind and large black and white flags draped from the stage ceiling.
Florence opened with June, the first track from her latest album ‘High As Hope’, which told us to “hold onto each other”, a message she kept reiterating through out the show. This was followed by the second track from the new album, Hunger, about hunger for love and lots of other hungers. She revisited the album ‘Lungs’ for song three with Between Two Lungs, which had her dancing, leaping and twirling from one side of the stage to the other in a dizzying whirlwind.
She performed most of the tracks from her new album ‘High As Hope’ and several from the very popular 2009 album ‘Lungs’, the 2015 album ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’, and the 2011 album ‘Ceremonials’.
She introduced Patricia as a song about Patti Smith, and invited the audience to “rage with us”. This was followed by the very popular Dog Days Are Over, an absolutely rollicking anthem song. She instructed everyone to put their phones away, hold hands with the person next to them and give a stranger a hug while saying “I love you”.
Toward the end of the set she performed Delilah, rushing into the crowd and getting up close and personal with punters further back. She closed the set with What Kind Of Man, which sent the crowd chanting for “one more song”.
Of course they came back with two encore songs. Firstly the very dramatic Big God and finally Shake It Out, telling us to shake off regrets and demons. “It’s hard to dance with a devil on your back so shake him off”
Florence’s songs are full of messages and hope for a more loving world, all delivered with one of the most powerful voices I have ever heard. Her presence on stage is electric. If you’ve never seen her live, I thoroughly recommend you put this on your bucket list.
Adelaide was the second show on the ‘High As Hope’ Australasian tour. There are plenty more to come in Melbourne, Geelong, Brisbane, Sydney and Auckland.
- Between Two Lungs
- Only If For A Night
- Queen Of Peace
- South london Forever
- Dog Days Are Over
- Ship To Wreck
- The End Of Love
- Cosmic Love
- What Kind Of Man
15. Big God
16. Shake It Out
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