High As Hope is out now on Republic Records

Earlier this month, Florence + the Machine brought their incredible live show to the legendary Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. The band led by Florence Welch are on the final leg of their High As Hope tour, which has already seen extensive sold-out dates across the globe. See my photos from the show below.

High As Hope arrived last summer on the heels of Welch sharing two excellent singles, “Sky Full Of Song” and “Hunger” – but taking a deep-dive into their fourth studio album fully reveals the perpetual magic created by these ethereal English musicians.
Florence Welch @ Merriweather (Matt Torres/Soundazed)

The album kicks off with “June,” the same track that opened our spellbinding evening at Merriweather. “In those heavy days in June / when love became an act of defiance” rang through Merriweather with poignant conviction. Written during a tumultuous period of extreme divisiveness and violence in the world, Florence lifted us to a new realm of promise with her swift motion and angelic vibrato. “Hunger” and “Ship to Wreck” quickly followed and hit like welcomed one-two punches.

Ceremonials album opener “Only If For A Night” made a roaring appearing before Welch bounced her way through an iconic live cut of “Patricia” from High As Hope, the legendary “Dog Days Are Over” from Lungs, and then an unbelievable performance of “Queen of Peace” from How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Only a queen like Florence can run through a decade-long catalog within a few minutes and touch on four timeless albums with such beautiful ease and authority.
Florence Welch @ Merriweather (Matt Torres/Soundazed

After running through so many amazing phases of past and present Florence + the Machine – Merriweather was served a live rendition of “Jenny of Oldstones,” the track created by the band for the final season of Game of Thrones. As you may remember, Florence was personally approached by the show’s creators to pen the track, making her the only artist featured in the show’s highly-anticipated ending.
Florence then made a major statement while just miles from our nation’s capital. “These are important,” she said while holding an LGBTQ pride flag and Transgender pride flag high in the air. The crowd roared before Florence followed her strong statement with a high-energy performance of “100 Years” and “Moderation.”
Florence Welch @ Merriweather (Matt Torres/Soundazed)

Without any hesitation, Florence + the Machine rolled into a show closer that made any already memorable night at Merriweather even better. After asking the thousands of attendees to illuminate the venue with their lighters and cell phone flashes, Welch played angelic version of “Cosmic Love,” that drew howling screams from an emotionally moved crowd.

Not a heartbeat skipped before “Delilah” hit the speakers and Florence began running through the pavilion, singing along to her iconic track amidst an eager crowd of fans in tears, screaming, or filming on their smartphones. It was pure pandemonium and of course, was followed with a smashing rendition of “What Kind of Man.”

Just when we thought there couldn’t possibly more, Florence once again completely changed the direction of night, choosing to slow things down with “No Choir” and “Big God.” The show would end with a blasting performance of “Shake It Out,” one of the best songs of the decade.

Florence + the Machine’s High As Hope show was genius, perfectly orchestrated, and a true ode to the expansive career of Florence Welch. Every song – from album lead singles to b-cuts and everything in between – felt like epic show moments, which is no easy feat. It’s a true testament to the mystical fire that burns within Welch, the genius lyricism, golden vibrato, and genuine compassion that makes her one of the best artists of our generation and an absolute must-see in concert. Stream High As Hope and catch F+TM on tour HERE.


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