Forces of Nature with Florence & The Machine at Concord Arena
Florence & The Machine

Torrential rains pelting the bay area could not keep the dedicated from showing up to Concord Pavilion last week.

If this were another act maybe, but this is Florence & The Machine and her fans laugh at Mother Nature’s sad attempt to keep them away.

Opener, CHRIStine and the Queens, set the tone for the evening with her ensemble dance troupe, matching her move for move, as Christine leaped around the stage from start to finish without a pause; the photographers in the pit struggled to keep up with everything happening onstage.

In between tracks from her new album, ‘CHRIS,’ she spoke to the crowd about women’s rights, control over their own bodies and liberty. She was justifiably fired up and channeled it into her performance as the crowd fired their own energy right back at her.

Normally this would be a tough act to follow but Florence Welch didn’t seem to notice. She strode onstage like a Queen greeting her subjects, and while Welch is certainly more modest than that, the rabid crowd ate it up.

In a kinetic explosion, she sang and twirled across the stage like a hurricane— you could almost feel the weather give up. There was no sense in trying to compete with this other force of nature because every song was an ecstatic burst of sound and energy.

What most people don’t understand is that the twirling and dancing onstage isn’t a gimmick, but a release valve. To sing such powerful music, Welch has to explode through movement, her hair whipping around as she vaults across the floor. And like the moisture gathered in the clouds above, it needed to be released.

Florence and her large backing band worked through hits past and present, even dedicating a version of ‘Jenny of Old Stones’ from Game of Thrones to Arya Stark.

By the end of the evening, everyone was cold and soaked, but as they made their way back to the parking lot in the dead of night it felt as if you were leaving a summer festival.

CHRIStine and the Queens’ ‘Chris’ is out now
Florence & The Machine’s ‘Moderation’ is out now