On The List :: Florence and the Machine @ Bowery Ballroom [10.27.09]

This review runs on Bowery's Houselist Blog

Watching Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine sing is like watching any number of acts, absurd in their direction, scope and control. She is a dunk from the foul line, a release of water held furtively behind a dam, the climactic scene of Scent of a Woman. She is mind-blowing. In fact, she may directly oppose every visual metaphor in this paragraph. She is like the Grand Canyon - you've either seen it up close, or you haven't.

Dressed in flowing white, Florence spilled to the stage with her black-clad band, The Machine. Opening with "Two Lungs," Welch exploded into to chorus. She didn't need all of the considerable orchestra, including the harp, to vibrate the floor of a completely packed Bowery Ballroom. With the Island Records crew stuffed into the balcony, Welch flitted around the stage, pushing her elbows back and popping her chest out like some mechanical and delicate bird. She repeatedly pointed at us, directly, to emphasize elements of her story, only to cover a smile with her hand. She is emphatic and wilting, if these two things are possible at once.

Florence, referring to herself as "Flo," sang almost every song on her album. "Drumming Song" was predictably tribal and elevating, making you think this is the twenty-years later incarnation of Kate Bush. "Cosmic Love" was the best song of the night and closed the set before the encore. Her voice pushed us back in our seats; grabbed the visual to zoom and pan. She defies visual simile. As much as you try, she is not like anything else.

Listen :: Florence and the Machine - "You've Got The Love" [The xx Remix]

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