5 Things I Learned from Seeing Florence & The Machine

Header Photo: Janine Van Oostrom/Aesthetic Magazine

#1 Florence puts her soul into freeing her audience through song 

In a recent article, Florence told Rolling Stone that performing is about “jumping off the cliff because you want people to feel free from judgment.” I never fully understood what this meant until experiencing it for myself. Florence was our choir master, asking us to sing and absolve her during Shake It Out, while also helping each of us free ourselves and one another. She helped us spread love during You’ve Got the Love, telling us to hug and kiss the person next to us and tell them that we love them. She showed us how to be fearless when she sang Various Storms and Saints: a song she said she did not like to listen to, but hoped singing it to us would help heal her.

One of my favorite moments was during the encore of What Kind of Man, when Florence seemed to be overcome with emotion and went out into the crowd and sang while head-to-head with a couple of fans. I never realized how important this kind of engagement could be during a concert, but I left the Molson Amphitheatre with new feelings and memories attached to every song performed that night.

#2 Greatness can come from a hangover 

Before the show, a friend asked me to send her my top three Florence & the Machine songs. Being the huge fan that I am, I decided to choose one per album: Cosmic Love, Heartlines, and Delilah (feel free to disagree with me).

Ever since hearing the Lungs, which Florence explained as a “drunk and shouty” first album, Cosmic Love always stuck out to me. So when the song’s intro started, I was thrilled. I was also in awe, as seconds before Florence explained that the song was written on no sleep and with a horrible hangover.

I will definitely remember this next time I have an essay due but am refusing to get out of bed on a Sunday.

Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun

#3 Florence Welsh is secretly an Olympic track runner 

Suddenly, in the middle of Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up), we couldn’t find her until the screens showed Florence sprinting barefooted around the amphitheatre in between sections 300 and 400 to finish the rest of the song. Once the song was over, she sprinted around the bowl and back onto stage in a matter of seconds before many of us even realized what was happening. How she was able to continue on with the set after that mini marathon I’ll never know. It showed her passion for performing while also confusing one or two security guards, which perfectly fit into Florence’s explanation in an interview that “It’s funny to see if security can keep up with me,” during her adventures into the crowd.

#4 And a ballerina. 

Her constant spinning and twirling had me wondering if being a rockstar was simply a side job to being a ballet dancer. As someone who gets dizzy from a five-minute car ride, I would love to learn Florence’s secret to keeping her mind straight during all of those spins.


#5 The importance of living outside of your Snapchat story

When you’re at a concert, it’s not unusual to see people taking photos on their phones, excited to show their friends on social media the great time they had (I, too, am guilty of this). Florence called us all out on it. She explained how we, herself included, are too busy looking down at our phones instead of looking out into the world, and that she did not want us to miss out on the beauty of life. So before playing How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, she kindly asked each of us in the crowd to put the phones down to enjoy the music and the memories for ourselves. “This is now. This is yours,” she screamed out to us, and so for the rest of the concert I barely took photos. I simply sang, danced, and lived, which made the rest of the night much more meaningful. 10/10 would recommend trying this at the next show you see, even if it’s just during one song.


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