NEW YORK — Despite a lack of sleep, which she credited to having a very eventful stay in New York, Florence Welch still tapped into festival-level energy for her sold-out show at Radio City Music Hall on Tuesday night.
In the time that’s elapsed since the release of her 2009 debut Lungs, the 25-year-old English musician, stylized with her band as Florence and the Machine, has blossomed into an international star and a world-class performer. That much was reflected in her ability to command the audience’s attention, keeping them on their feet throughout an hour-long show in a venue that afforded the option of seating.
The show was live-streamed on Fuse TV, and maybe because of this, Welch performed a set that was heavy on material from her most recent LP Ceremonials, breaking only to backtrack with Lungs singles “Dog Days Are Over,” “Cosmic Love” and “Rabbit Heart.”
Opening up with the new album’s intro track “Only If for a Night,” Florence got her vocals warmed up, easily hitting the rapturous notes on “What the Water Gave Me” and “All This and Heaven Too,” with her energy level steadily rising with each song.
With the vibe finally established and the crowd engaged, Florence took a few extra moments to get her audience prepared for “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up),” by encouraging men in the crowd to hoist dates on their shoulders, summer festival-style, despite Radio City being “quite a snazzy venue.” It didn’t take much prompting. Immediately, girls in the crowd began to pop up on shoulders, and Welch gleefully tallied the number of fans who were happy to oblige, before launching into the song.
“Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)” was one of the highlights of the set, complete with an extended break allowing the audience to clap along to the percussion, while Welch skipped from one end of the stage to the next. Her sheer, billowing jumpsuit, which gave her the appearance of a fairy as she sauntered across the stage, was also mesmerizing when she stood still, arms spread, letting her vocals fill up the empty space in the auditorium on songs like “Spectrum.”
Her disarming interactions with the crowd made it easy to swoon over her, and performing “Heartlines” after admitting that New York feels “more and more like home” didn’t hurt either. “Dog Days Are Over,” one of her biggest singles to date, was an obvious smash with the audience, and the encore found her delivering two final cuts from Ceremonials. “Never Let Me Go,” came with a dedication to a fan’s mother who had just passed away and “No Light, No Light” was her final number before disappearing for the night.