Florence and the Machine review - Southside 2012
'A shining example of the triumph of true talent'
24 June 2012
The high priestess of pop performed for her German devotees today in spectacular style. With her red hair blowing in the breeze she emerged in regal dress to open with ‘Only if for a Night’ followed by ‘What the Water Gave Me’, both tracks from the latest album Ceremonials. If the thousands of adoring Germans were perhaps a little disappointed by the slow tempo start it certainly gave them opportunity to admire Florence Welch in all her enigmatic, icy glory, as one awestruck young girl said “she is majestic”.
Yet, from cool and distant, by the third track Florence Welch has become warm and playful, delighting an eager audience by asking for human sacrifices to be hoisted on shoulders, offering themselves up to the power of her flawless voice as she soars through ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’.
Like a possessed fairy Welch twirls and dances around stage as she continues to mesmerise the crowd. ‘Spectrum’, to be released as the new single in July, is followed by Never let me go as, smiling and radiant, Florence draws the crowd with her powerful stage charisma and exquisite voice.
The power she exerts over the crowd is no better demonstrated than when she demands that the crowd assist her in “a ritual” during ‘Shake It Out’. Although this involves nothing more than bouncing along with her, magic is created as thousands of euphoric fans bounce along as one producing one of best festival atmospheres I have ever experienced.
The final tracks, ‘Dog Days Are Over’ and ‘No Light, No Light’, bring the set to a triumphant climax. Her porcelain skin still flawless, her vocals still as polished, Florence and her Machine are a shining example of the triumph of true talent over commercialised fabrications.
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