Florence and The Machine - May 20, 2016


Photo: Scott Newton

Photo: Scott Newton

Florence Welch returned to the Austin City Limits Stage last night for the first time since 2011. Since that first taping Florence and The Machine have become superstars with a multitude of hits that are inescapable on radio, television and in films. Welch walked put on to the stage barefoot and blew the crowd away from the start with "What the Water Gave Me" leading into the huge hit "Ship to Wreck". You can tell television isn't her comfort zone and she made it a point to get the audience to stand and be involved in the show throughout the night despite the limitations of being recorded. She performed the Grammy nominated "Shake It Out" as well as the title track for her current album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful where she commented on the recording of the album and how it taught her "not just to love just one person, but everyone and everything". She closed out the evening while encouraging the crowd to climb on each others shoulders and finishing with her hugest hits "You've Got The Love" and "Dog Days Are Over". Between songs she had everyone in the crowd hug one another and wave and it was very genuine. It was powerful and her connection with the crowd is so rare. The taping will air on PBS this fall as part of season 42 of Austin City Limits.