Search this blog for all the times I’ve seen the great Florence + The Machine. I’m in awe of her every time. I caught her ‘High as Hope’ tour last year in Washington, D.C., at The Anthem. To be honest, I was there to visit a friend who worked for Florence’s opening act, Beth Ditto, so I didn’t really see the entire show. Seeing her at the fabled Red Rocks Amphitheater is almost too Stevie-Nicks-surreal for me to handle. But here I am, one night after her previous show was cut short due to a surprise May snowstorm. By the time she appeared on stage, the snow had all but dissipated, but my toes were already numb.
Whilst the tour is titled ‘High as Hope,’ Florence confessed early she struggles with extreme anxiety – but finds her high and hope through connecting with her fans on stage. Doubling down on the theme of loneliness from Christine’s set, she opened with ‘June’ and ‘Hunger’ wearing a flowy (she called it flimsy) sage chiffon dress that clearly failed to protect her from the cold, wind and snow. She sought warmth by pogo-jumping, running from one end of the stage to another, electrifying, heavens-reaching arm calisthenics and her signature hair thrashing. Eventually, she put on a coat and some kind Coloradan loaned her his ‘hand warmers.’
She went on to perform some of the best tracks from all four of her studio albums. From Lungs: ‘Between Two Lungs’ and ‘Cosmic Love.’ From Ceremonials: ‘Shake It Out.’ From How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful: ‘Queen of Peace,’ ‘Ship to Wreck,’ and ‘What Kind of Man.’ From High as Hope: ‘South London Forever,’ ‘No Choir,’ and ‘Big God.’ And two single releases: ‘Moderation’ and from Game of Thrones: ‘Jenny of Old Stones.’
Florence never disappoints and her voice seems to get stronger, richer, bigger every time I see her. How big, how beautiful indeed. And, a perfect cap to my trip to visit my sister. It was a thrill to introduce her to Christine and the Queens, and bear witness to her first Florence concert. North Kansas City Forever.