Coming through on the second leg of her High As Hope tour, after over 70 concerts Florence and her well-oiled machine show no signs of flagging, nor any disinterest in the material from that record. With good reason – there’s some cracking material on the ‘never in one spot for too long’ Welch, and a good chunk of it was on display tonight.
Also in the venue were the ACLU, underscoring her commitment to reaching out and supporting the disenfranchised, and she encouraged people to check out their booth and talk with them. Shortly after that, she realized just how many new songs she’d played and posited that some may be thinking ‘If she’s going to keep playing the new stuff I’m going to talk with the ACLU.’ “I hope you do!” was her response.
But there is plenty to like about High As Hope, including a song she wrote about her favorite American, Patti Smith. “Patricia” was a standout, the full band bringing a full, lush and supple backing to her barehearted paean to the original punkstress. Welch noted early on that she’s performed her whole life, and spent her whole life in her room, secluded from the outside world.
She’s been able to balance this dichotomy by connecting directly to her audience. During “100 Years” she danced and whirled like she was alternately exorcising and exercising demons. Before playing her Game Of Thrones song “Jenny Of Oldstones,” she dedicated it to Arya Stark and successfully got everyone to put away their phones and connect with the show and the people surrounding you. (At the next song, phones started popping up again. At least you had a small victory, Florence). And during the powerhouse “Delilah,” she hopped down from the stage and strode through the aisles, occasionally stopping and singing directly in front of lucky fans, ending the song back in front of the stage and perched on the barricade, giving hair lashings to the fans in front who supported her by her legs. Lovingly, of course.
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