COLUMN: Florence Welch offers festival-goers words of wisdom between songs
I’ve been looking forward to Florence + The Machine’s live show ever since I found out I was going to ACL. Like a lot of people I’m sure, I started listening to her after multiple sing-a-long sessions to “Dog Days Are Over.” But I fell in love with Florence Welch about a year ago when “Ceremonials” was released.
Her live show was just as fun and energetic as I expected it to be. Florence was clad in a long-sleeved gothic emerald dress — I was mentally taking bets on how long she would last before passing out in the extreme heat — and she jumped and danced around the stage like she was in her own zone. Whenever the large screens zoomed in on her face, she appeared blissfully happy and in awe of what was going on around her.
The people in the crowd were eating up her energy, dancing and singing as if they were the only ones there. Florence threw out some bits of wisdom in between songs, to which the festival-goers cheered ecstatically.
“It’s not a festival until you’ve stroked glitter off a stranger’s face and put it on your own face,” Welch said.
Florence noticed a man in the crowd, whom she called “a beautiful creature,” with green hair and silver glitter all over his face. She immediately called him to the stage, stroked his cheek and wiped her now glitter-covered hand on her own face.
Only you, Florence, wouldn’t mind putting a complete stranger’s sweaty glitter on your beautiful porcelain skin.
“It’s definitely a festival now," she said.
Florence spotted another person in the crowd, this time a girl with a flowered headdress. Like a queen to her jester, Flo told one of the security guys to “go fetch her crown,” which she placed on her head and began twirling around like a little girl playing dress-up.
“So tonight go forth with my blessing and have an amazing time, but this song is for you tomorrow,” she told the crowd before singing her hit “Shake It Out,” an incredibly uplifting song that turns out is actually about having a hangover.
Of course the audience thought this was amazing and cheered in acknowledgement of Florence’s blessing to drink.
“Whether you’re with a loved one or a friend or someone you just met, turn to them and tell them you love them," Welch cried out before playing “Rabbit Hole (Raise It Up)."
"I want to see as many people on shoulders as possible!”
I watched the YouTube stream of her Coachella set in April and she did the same thing — obviously, on Florence Welch’s command, everyone in the crowd is going to jump onto the nearest vacant shoulders they can find. Usually concert-goers get mad when people sit on shoulders, but in this case, everyone just had to go with the Flo (pun intended).
“This is the ceremony of the Ceremonials tour.”
Florence + The Machine closed the set with the hit “Dog Days Are Over,” to which the crowd went nuts, dancing and singing and visibly having an awesome time. At the end, Florence told the audience whenever she yelled “Austin!” the crowd was to jump up and down.
Most people did it for a while but eventually stopped— probably due to the sweat spraying everywhere. I was not one of those people. I didn’t stop jumping until the crowd began to stampede over me.
Emily Hopkins is an advertising junior.