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Florence + the Machine concert review (or something)

Posted October 10th, 2012 at 2:19 PM by Esper
Tags music

Last week I saw Florence + the Machine in concert. Which was fabulous. It was kind of a birthday present for a friend. That's the excuse we used anyway. This is how the day went.

So the concert was held in Mountain View, which is a little bit away from where I live, and we decided to leave early on Friday to get there and have time to do whatever before the concert started. We also decided that we'd rather get a motel room to stay in instead of trying to drive home in the middle of the night.

None of us really spends any time in the south bay so we got directions from Google, and those were fine until the very last leg of the trip where the directions said our destination was on the right when it was on the left. What's the deal, Google? This is the town where your headquarters are and you can't even get all the directs right. Anyway, we also passed the Facebook headquarters and probably a dozen other internet companies on the way. I'd have taken pictures, but I was busy jamming to Florence.

So we made really good time and got there early and waited around until 2 like our reservations said before we checked in. Guy at the desk said we had to wait until 3 (which was just bull) and didn't even look at us so we left to go shopping in town. While we walked down this really, really long street we say a NASA shuttle drive by. Like, a bus kind of shuttle, not the kind that goes into space. But it said "NASA Shuttle" right there on the bus. Someone at NASA has a sense of humor.

There was this amazing used bookstore in the downtown area. I could have stayed in their all night. Except, you know, I was going to a concert. But I still wanted to stay there all night. I bought a few friends (a.k.a. books) to take back with me, thinking I might want to have them to kill time before the show. Pffffttt. Dumb idea. Too excited.

Got back to the motel where we found out we were staying in Murder Central (the room on the end of the hall, closest to the exit and with only one neighbor). Great. Different guy at the desk was all: "You going to the concert? Only reason anyone would stay here." That's the way to sell yourself, new guy.

I'm getting way off topic here. Anyway, skipping ahead to the concert. There were like a million cars on the road and it took forever to drive the mile and a half to the Shoreline Amphitheatre which is a HUGE outdoor venue with a giant circus-like tent over the stage half and open skies over most of the audience. Just getting inside was like going to a theme park. They even had screens up showing the opening act playing and a twitter feed or something with comments from people at the show, one of the best was something to the effect of "I wish these hipsters in front of me would sit down." We had seats (as opposed to open grass and fold-out chairs like people further back) more or less in the center, but far enough back that we couldn't see much detail of the stage. What was pretty fabulous was that two of the seats in front of us went unoccupied for a while until two little girls (who I'll call Nosering and The Other One), who couldn't have been more than 5 feet each, took the seats, one of which was broken and we had to fix for them. We were going to ask the lady with all the Obama buttons who was directing people to their seats to come over and help, but The Other One said not too. Clearly they didn't have tickets, but whatever. They were short and if someone did have those seats they could ask them to move.

Like I said the opening act was already going when we got there, some Canadian named "The Weeknd" and no, that's not a typo. Wasn't all that impressive to me, but some people with closer seats were bobbing and swaying (the hipsters, maybe?) like there was no tomorrow. I wouldn't have minded the music if it hadn't been SO DAMN LOUD. Someone set up the sound badly and it was all this wall of sound hitting us so I had to text my friends who were sitting right next to me to communicate.

Then we waited for a half our for the show to start, watching the instruments and stuff being set up. Exciting! Then, finally, it started.

She came out all silhouetted while the music started up and we were all on our feet cheering. The first song was Only If For A Night (here's a video someone else who must have had better seats took) which was followed by What The Water Gave Me. Very exciting! Then came Cosmic Love which is where she started to change things up a little by altering little things in the song, pausing, drawing parts out, and all that good stuff. It was the most amazing thing ever. Next was All This and Heaven Too. After that she took a little break to say hi.

For some reason she seemed to think we were in San Francisco. Mountain View isn't even that close. But, you know, I'd have rather been in San Francisco in the first place and she seemed so happy and welcoming, what's one little mistake? She went on to say that she needed a sacrifice. What? Yeah, a sacrifice. She asked us to put out friends and neighbors on our shoulders and we tried with the birthday girl, but none of us was really that strong so we weren't able to sacrifice her after all. She was very... English when she spoke, asking us to snog the people next to us and explaining what snog means. Anything you say, Florence.

Back to music. We got to hear Rabbit Heart (aha! I get the sacrifice reference now) and then Spectrum which she said reminded her of... San Francisco! (She went on to talk about San Francisco - like how she bought all the velvet dresses from the vintage shops on Haight street - a lot and I couldn't help but laugh every time she did.) We got to hear Breaking Down, Heartlines, and a stripped down version of Leave My Body, which just melted me. I got to hear Breath Of Life for the first time ever since I'm a horrible fan and hadn't known it existed until that day. Then she left us with Shake It Out and No Light, No Light back to back and everyone was going crazy. It was the most amazing thing ever.

Throughout the performance she was twirling and when she wasn't twirling she was running back and forth from one end of the stage to the other and when she wasn't doing that she was just bouncing up and down like everyone in the audience.

We had to wait for an agonizing eternity before she came back for the encore. She started that with Drumming Song. If I said anything else in the concert was amazing, this blows them all away. Like a hurricane. The percussion on that song just kept coming and coming and her the energy kept going up and up. I'd been on my feet the entire time and my legs were so tired but I was still on them with my hands in the air. Even this old couple a few rows in front of me were on their feet and dancing around. It was fantastic.

For the last song we got the song I was hoping to hear, Dog Days Are Over. She had the audience clapping along with her for, like, what must have been 10 minutes. I'm exhausted just thinking about it so I'm gonna end there.

Oh, P.S. it should be obvious, but if you ever get the chance to see her live YOU HAVE TO DO IT. That is all.
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