Response: Florence and the Machine
Response: Florence and the Machine
When Florence took the stage last night in her epic bejewelled black cape and her barefeet, I was like a child. My hands were clasped in front of me, my eyes wide and glowing. She began with Only if for a Night. The tween standing in front of me turned around with similarly glowing eyes and said, "this is my favourite one! OMG."
"ME TOOOO," I gushed in return.
With the artificial wind billowing through her black cloak, and her pale face shining beneath the spotlight, Florence was an ethereal goddess. She was completely and uniquely herself, but she was also the embodiment of everything I am and everything I want to be. Her movements were graceful and slow, her words, thoughtful. She glided across the stage like a fairy. She stomped and thrashed and squealed like an imp. She was quite other-worldly.
When Florence gestured for us to stand up, we all found ourselves standing. When she asked us to jump up and down, we did just that. When she asked us if we wanted to sing with her, we bellowed YES.
We were puppets, but beloved ones. We were prized and collectible; the kind of puppets you wrap up in tissue paper and keep in golden boxes.
One moment Florence was sombre and serene, the next she was smiling gleefully and clapping to the beat. She was delightful, and she made us and the world feel delightful too.
I couldn't hear her voice for most of the concert because the crowd was singing too loudly; almost as if the night was a chance for us to show our devotion to her, rather than the other way around. But when she sang Leave My Body we all hushed and swayed. The quiet moments were all the more powerful because they were punctuated by others of such incredible noise. When Seven Devils began it punched me in the chest with its force - all was quiet and (relatively) still, and then the drum beat came out of nowhere. I wish I could have filmed the crowd at that moment, I'm sure we all took a visible step backwards before surging forward again with renewed excitement.
I couldn't see Florence's face for most of the concert either, due to the glittering array of screens that were held up to immortalise her.
As with any arena concert, I'm always shocked and slightly frightened by the sheer emotive power these performing humans have over us. The wait for an encore was almost unbearably long. We stomped and chanted and squealed - I think I even howled a few times (as a joke...). It was absolutely deafening, but she returned finally in a shower of red lights, and she sang Never Let Me Go and our lives were complete.
When the house lights came up my nearest friend turned to me and said, "I want to adopt her," and another replied, "I want her to be my SISTER." As for me, well I actually thought I kind of wanted to be her. Not in a stalker, identity-stealing way though... I just wish I could capture the beauty and serenity and energy she projected and weave it into a cloak to wear everywhere I go.
I'm not going to lie, when I got up this morning I braided my hair and wrapped it around my head, and I'm sure I'm not the only girl in Auckland who did that.
She's got something magical going on, that Florence, something that ensures she'll become immortal (even without the multitude of grainy videos that are currently consuming memory space on mobile phones all over this city).
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