By Anya Whitlock
Artist: Florence And The Machine
Date / Venue: Saturday November 21st, 2015 - Vector Arena, Auckland
From the moment Florence and the Machine began playing last night at the Vector Arena the crowd was treated to a high energy, inspiring show filled with oldie worldie glamour and style. Florence was entirely in white with 70's flares, an airy blouse and waistcoat reminiscent of Agnetha Fältskog from ABBA. Her first song was 'What The Water Gave Me', a beautiful way to kick off the next hour and a half of twirling and skipping barefoot like an animated Botticelli painting around the massive stage.
Her "Machine" was impressive, 12 people in total strewn across a clever scalloped bandstand; along with the usual pop backing band she had a full scale harp, 2x keys, 2 backing singers and a 3 piece lady horn section who also contributed vocally. The massive glitter backdrop was a personality in itself. Consisting of thousands and thousands of silver square sequins constantly rippled by air streams. The world class lighting gave the entire set up the variation and tonal changes needed throughout the show.
Florence's vocals were spot on, never missing a beat even though it looked like she was taking an aerobics class most of the time. She was full of inspirational messages and cheesy hand gestures. The crowd responded with cult-like obedience. Even the crowd in the nose bleeds (The seats with such a high altitude it makes your nose bleed) put mobile phones away and hugged each other when asked. The reward was a beautiful version of 'Third Eye'.
I must admit I found her live performance far more based in pop music than I had anticipated. Really quite clever as it seduces a wider range of people- I had always been under the impression that she was more rooted in the alternative scene. It wasn't an unwelcome understanding however as it made for a light and fun concert-going experience.
The two clear crowd favourites were 'Got The Love' and 'Dog Days'. The latter was the best song of the night. Last of the set and just before a 2 song encore, it was wild and alive with Florence convincing people to take off an item they were wearing and wave it above their heads. I took my glasses off and gave them a little wave, maybe I missed the point as the stadium erupted with swirls of colour which were them thrown onto the stage for Florence to collect and throw around like giant misshapen confetti. Maybe she wanted some souvenirs or to start an op-shop but either way it was a great way to end a solid show.