CONCERT REVIEW: Florence and the Machine’s High As Hope Tour at Key Arena Creates Magical Experience

 

It was the first U.S. date for the High as Hope tour and lucky fans gathered at Key Arena to check out the opening night. Florence and the Machine always have a well-produced tour and tonight wouldn’t be any different. We don’t often get to see an all-female bill and we couldn’t wait for what was to come. Rising star Lizzo kicked off the night with her powerful vocals and intriguing dancers. We were impressed at Sasquatch earlier this year and seeing her in an arena setting was equally amazing. No surprise why she’s earned so much praise over the last year.

Next up was alt-pop phenom St.Vincent who has had a busy year touring behind her fifth album Masseduction. She took the stage with her band and immediately cast a spell over everyone present. She was wearing a green skintight one piece with an orange belt and throughout her set used a few stunning examples of her signature Ernie Ball Music Man guitars.

Everything was done with preciseness accompanied with a hint of musical seduction which kept everyone intrigued. She’s an exceptional musician that has found her stride with her latest release. She played many of our favorites including, “Los Ageless,” “Masseduction,” “Cheerleader,” “Digital Witness,” and ended her set with a slower and sweet, “New York.”

When it was time for the magical creature to come forward a spotlight fell in the middle of the stage and guided Florence Welch to her mic. She wore a beige vintage dress and ran around the stage barefoot most of the night. The British singer who formed the band with Isabella Summers in 2007 began the night with “June,” and “Hunger,” from their latest record.

The wooden stage was layered with steps where she could jump around and get closer to the audience which looked simple but yet fit perfectly with the ambience, along with the cloths above that lightly moved around like curtains. If you’ve ever caught Welch live then you know that it’s hard to take your eyes off of her. She feels like an ethereal being that captivates your soul and there is no denying her power of absolutely disarming you with her presence. Her voice? Flawless as ever, where you are constantly questioning if she’s next to you whispering clearly in your ear.

She and her eight-piece band covered many favorites including, “Only If for a Night,” “Dog Days Are Over,” “Ship to Wreck,” and “Cosmic Love.” The delightful surprise for the fans standing in GA was when she started “Delilah” and then ran into the audience making her way all the way to the back of the arena singing her hit. She did this with a couple of people behind her mostly lighting her way completely immersing herself in the crowd.

She returned to finish up the song then going into the front of the crowd for “What Kind of Man,” where she stayed standing on top of them for the duration. You can tell that she completely lives for these moments, that she wants to give herself to her art and that she wants to make people feel something greater than themselves. Her charisma is breathtaking and you could feel her emotions no matter where you’re sitting in the room.

Her encore included powerful tracks “Big God,” and “Shake it Out,” where she asked the fans to be her choir as confetti was released making it even more magical than one could imagine. In a place where you wondered what was real and what was a dream, Welch orchestrated the best fairy tale that was ever read to you.

Check out more photos from the show HERE.

Sophia Barkalakis

Music is probably the most important part of her life. Sophia is constantly searching for new material, old and new. Always looking forward to the next live show she can attend, ready to immerse herself in the sound. "There is something so magical about attending a live show that you cannot possibly feel from a recording itself that makes it worth going to", she says. She also says she's lucky to be able to combine her passion for music with her obsession of capturing moments. She finds that being able to look at a photograph and be transported to that second of your life is indescribable and she's so grateful for all those great moments.