Coachella 2012: Florence + The Machine (Weekend 1)
By Marisa Dodge
Weekend 1: April 13-15
Florence Welch and her band Florence + the Machine’s 2012 Coachella show was a universal success. How appropriate that the sky was clear of clouds for the first of the three nights of the festival allowing the stars to shine, truly adding to her “Cosmic Love”.
During the 45 minute set, my ringing ears from blasting speakers were cleansed and my soul was as well. The stained glass window backdrop gave the feeling of attending a church service; its religion would be Music. The British singer, Florence, was barefoot and wore a long midnight blue dress; its fabric soared in the wind like her voice did.
Opening with “Only for a Night” the crowd at the Outdoor Theatre roared with her appearance and then quickly quieted to listen as her mouth opened as if the stars had actually aligned. Flo twirled and raised her arms throughout the entire performance. She constantly thanked Coachella and spoke with the audience, appearing as full of joy as her hundreds of thousands of fans. Her eyes twinkled like her jewel embroidered ensemble.
For her song “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)” she requested for ladies of friends and lovers to be raised up in the crowd on shoulders. On shoulders myself above the sea of adoring fans, I could see that not only the crowd became more in tune with the music, but so did Flo as she counted girls on shoulders and jumped up and down from one side of the stage to another.
“Shake It Off” brought tears to my eyes and it wasn’t a result of cigarette smoke. I was truly moved as fans sang loudly with Florence’s projecting lyrics. I felt things that were weighing on my heart and mind be lifted with every verse. I laughed to myself after some self-reflecting, remembering the song is about a hangover and how appropriately it applied to the majority of the audience.
When “The Dog Days Are Over” began, unanimous joy was reaped from the crowd. It was bittersweet because it seemed as if everyone was at the height of enjoyment but knew it was soon to be over. This song was the celebration of the concert.
Florence + the Machine seemed to tickle peoples’ ears as well as their hearts. Who would have thought on the warmest night of Weekend 1 I would be getting chills? Florence + the Machine’s show was a harmonious performance I left feeling inspired and renewed. Florence kept thanking us at the show but I would like to personally say, thank you, Florence.