When Florence and The Machine burst onto the stage in their first ever concert in Abu Dhabi, as Saturday’s headliner of the F1 after-race concerts, the crowd erupted in an energy that lasted the entire night. Clothed in a white satin waistcoat and flared trouser combination that was every inch a throwback to the seventies, Florence Welsh delivered powerful vocals on old favourites and new offerings alike.
Tambourine in hand, her bare feet lept across the stage with grace as she danced to each melody and it was clear that she was enjoying the experience every bit as much as the thousands watching her.
Fans in the front soon delighted when the songstress enthusiastically ran down the steps and into their open arms, holding hands and inviting them to sing, much to the exasperation of the security guard charged with her safety. Intimacy was no doubt the aim of Florence’s game, and before one song she implored us to put away our phones and live in the moment.
And so we did; technology forgotten, the crowd swayed to the bare-faced beauty’s haunting ensemble. With each theatrical flourish at the end of her songs I was reminded that Florence never tries to be something, she just is.
Whilst her latest hits were thoroughly enjoyable, it was her anthems that truly pleased. For classic Shake It Off, our singing was almost louder than hers as we poured our hearts into the music. As fans brought their hands together in that distinct clap for Dog Days Are Over, I began to understand just why the British pop-rock band have soared to success: there is something unquestionably genuine about them, from Florence’s interpretive dance scenes mid-song to the passionate playing of her harpist.
They are making music because they love it, and so you can’t help but love it too.
Florence, with energy and talent like that you really are a Machine.
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