14th September 2015
It can be a challenge for an act to make Glasgow’s cavernous Hydro feel energised, but Florence Welch manages exactly that when she brings her dazzling Machine to the city. ‘You seem so high up there!’ cries Welch to those sitting in the upper tiers of the 13,000 strong crowd. ‘It’s like you’re in the clouds’.
From the moment Welch walks on stage in a billowing beige blouse and satin white trousers, she seems like an ethereal being. Welch even brings a bit of Glastonbury to the arena, fresh from her headlining slot, by commanding the crowd to jump ‘as high and as fast as you can’ to some of her greatest hits. She greets the front row by touching their hands as she passes, and even tears off her top at one point, swinging it over her head. Welch impressively runs across the stage at full pelt without missing a beat, her seemingly boundless energy infusing the crowd and her voice as they sing colossal songs such as Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up), Dog Days Are Over, What Kind of Man and the cathartic Shake It Out.
Welch faultlessly delivers her best-known songs from across her three albums, Lungs, Ceremonials and How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, against a modest, shimmering mirror ball backdrop. When you’re as charismatic and enthusiastic a performer as Welch, any embellishments seem pointless. Despite there being no chorus too small when it comes to her music, it’s clear that, equally, Welch knows the power of knowing when to hold back.