“She’s a movement, a revolution.” Those were the only coherent words I was able to form as I watched Florence Welch twirl her way across the stage at Wells Fargo Theatre on Thursday night in Denver, Colorado. I had no idea that I was in for such a moving experience, to be honest I expected Florence to sing a few tunes, say a few “thank yous” and get on with her life. But I was pleasantly surprised to see that the minute the band hit the stage it was an emotional rollercoaster. The Wells Fargo Theatre is a relatively small venue, which was the best thing possible for someone of Welch’s caliber. Her melodic voice reached the ears of every single person in the room. She poured emotion into everything she sang. The band did an amazing job of making the entire room feel as if we were all one person, with one steady beating heartbeat that came through the tips of our toes and flowed throughout our entire bodies and united us all for one special night.
The entire set was a production, from the lights to the band, everything was tied together perfectly to give the audience something to talk about, to make sure they knew that their money was well spent.
Welch, herself, was fantastically interactive. She joked with the audience in-between songs, and made audience members dance and be silly. It was outrageous to me that someone like her, who at first glance doesn’t seem to have that much stage presence, could be so commanding. And yet the moment she stepped onto the stage with her sheer, billowy green dress she immediately became the focal point for the entire night. One of the biggest moments of the night was when Welch left the stage and started running around the theatre with swarms of fans following after her, all the while she continued to hold her notes and performed for the crowd spectacularly. I have to admit, I was close to tears by the time the show was coming to a close (okay, I’ll admit I was bawling by this point). The climactic finale of two of the band’s biggest hits “Shake it Out” and “Dog Days Are Over” was absolutely moving, the audience was singing along and dancing, Welch was interactive with the crowd and the band played like it was their last night on this Earth.
After the finale the band ran off stage, most of us were still on our concert highs and demanded the band come back out and play another song. I, myself, was thinking the show was over and waited for the house lights to turn back on. But once again, Florence and The Machine surprised me by coming back onto the stage. By this time the crowd had relatively calmed down, which was a good idea since Welch came on stage with a message for us. She respectively asked us to have a few moments of silence for the Aurora shootings. A moving notion considering we were only a few miles from Aurora and the shootings were still fresh on everyone’s mind. After the silence, Welch soulfully sang “Never Let Me Go” in dedication to the victims of the shootings. It was a gesture that was greatly respected by everyone in the room.
I haven’t been to church in a couple of years, but there was no doubt in my mind that concert was a religious experience for me. The smaller venue enhanced it; I can’t imagine having that same feeling in a festival setting or in a big venue, it just wouldn’t be the same. So if you have seen Florence and The Machine live, I hope you had an amazing experience like I did and feel free to share your experiences. And if you haven’t, I suggest going next time the band is in your town, especially if they’re performing in someplace small. I promise you, you won’t regret it.
Picture Source: My friend, Amanda