Florence + the Machine | The Auditorium, Rome | 22 July, 2010

It's just over a year since Lungs, the debut album by Florence + the Machine, exploded onto the British music scene, eventually becoming one of the best selling albums of 2009 (and 2010 so far) and scooping countless prizes including the coveted Mastercard Best British Album at the 2010 BRIT Awards. Last night Florence Welch brought her seemingly never ending world tour to Rome, where she closed her recent European round of Summer Festivals at the Auditorium Parco della Musica as another highlight of this year's Luglio Suona Bene programme.

Dressed all in white in a flowing gown, Florence was the second barefooted singer to take the Cavea stage this week - Graham Nash was the other for any trivia fans reading this – although I'd secretly rather hoped to see her repeat some of her death-defying dancing on spectacularly high heels! It was another steamy night in Rome, but this girl had boundless energy and a strangely ethereal presence. Maybe it was the way she was dressed, but she moved with such light footed steps as to appear almost angelic – an innocent appearance that was dramatically at odds with the darkness of some of her eerie lyrics - My Boy Builds Coffins was particularly good early on in the show – or the (self) destructive energy of Hurricane Drunk and the song that has caused a flurry of controversy since it appeared as her debut single, Kiss With a Fist.

The Florence + the Machine live show presents a pared down version of her music where the power of Welch's extraordinary voice takes precedence over the veneer of studio production. It was a downright boisterous crowd at the Auditorium last night who cheered deafeningly between and even during songs if there was a moment's silence, but also, unfortunately, it was one of the noisiest audiences I've encountered for quite some time where people chatted distractedly throughout the show and it felt rather like being in a field at a rock festival rather than at the Cavea. Looking around at the predictably very young audience, I was painfully aware of a yawning generation gap with myself at the furthest end! Despite efforts of the youngest around me to ruin the evening, however, it was still a wonderful concert, which was one of discovery for me as I went primarily out of pure curiosity to see what all the hype was about. I discovered that Florence Welch is the real deal and by the end of the show I was a newly converted fan! The cheers after the encore, which included an absolutely stunning Dog Days Are Over, would have blown the roof off the venue if it had had one! I'm really curious to see how her career develops as she is a performer with amazing stage presence and huge talent.

Watch Dog Days Are Over below or click here to watch on YouTube.


Joy Palakkal said…
Really beautiful Post!!
With All Best Wishes..