21 Jun 2019
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Gig Review: Florence and The Machine @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 30/01/2019

31 Jan 2019 // A review by Paul Goddard

I caught the tail end of Yellow Days set at Laneway so was pleased to see a full performance at Auckland's Spark Arena tonight. The sunlight was replaced by stage light and the first thing that comes across is that mellow, baritone of a voice.

Yellow Days are not necessarily a band you need to keep focused on. In fact, many times I find myself closing my eyes and just getting submerged in the gentle waves of reflective lyrics as they float out over the arena.

Not many 19 year olds' would site Ray Charles as one of their main influences but George Van Den Broek is channeling something more than most 19 year old. This is an old soul in a young body with a voice to match.

He has mentioned how nowadays people can feel so comfortable most of the time that even just day to day issues can set them off kilter and lead to anxiety and depression. He isn't the first artist to use music as a channel to help him get through life but his is a positive message.

The songs float and his way of putting soulful, bluesy R'n'B through a blender laced with trip hop rhythms and an indie guitar vibe is woozily intoxicating. It is perfectly highlighted in Gap in The Clouds. If you want to check Yellow Days out that song is a good place to start.

Yellow Days are the perfect warm up for what is about to follow, and they leave behind an appreciative crowd of new fans

This is my first time at a Florence and The Machine gig unlike most people here tonight. She has been over before, headlining Laneway Festival back in 2010 and last time was around 3 years ago. Spark Arena isn't just busy tonight it is packed to the rafters, any dog days for Florence and The Machine are well and truly over.

There are no walls of speakers or amps onstage as the most powerful instrument tonight is Florence's voice.

She runs onstage, barefoot, on tip toes, cream dress billowing in the wind of the strategically placed fans and that voice immediately shines. Hearing Florence sing live is an unforgettable experience. I have never heard such clarity, power and control. She rarely stands still but even while moving that voice never falters. As she sings "I am so high I can see an angel" and the lights die opening track June can only be described as breath-taking.

As the band run through the next few songs I am just in a state of awe. Florence is about as far removed from today's plastic, over produced, over made up pop stars as you can get. There is something other worldly about her.

Even her voice when speaking between songs catches you off guard. It is childlike, at first a little disarming. She says she rarely speaks offstage and isn't comfortable speaking to large crowds but manages to talk more tonight between songs than most performers I have ever seen.

She wants people to join together and gets the crowd to hug each other, hold hands, dance like no one is watching. She also talks about sending out positive vibes to a world that is getting increasingly dark and making change by changing yourself first. It's all a very 60's hippy vibe but you know what? She has a point. It doesn't seem forced or fake.

Florence is totally believable but where it all hits home is in the delivery of these songs.

There is a purity and even an innocence that comes across in the performance. What makes it special though is this purity comes from places of darkness and despair. She talks about growing up and living in South London and how it isn't a beautiful place, her experiences drinking at a young age. She shines a light on the negatives in life and love and without the dark this light that everyone here experiences tonight wouldn't be as bright.

When she tells the crowd, "hope is an action" it is a call to arms

Rarely do you see a singer so mesmerising that even individual lines in songs stand out. Every lyric is delivered with the passion it was written with. The hits are all here tonight in a 17 song set that is perfectly paced. As she moves and shimmies to the music that voice soars, dips and cuts like a knife with pitch perfect precision.

At one point Florence runs out into the main standing crowd and does something I have never seen before. She doesn't just stand on a barrier above people heads she walks straight into the middle of the floor directly surrounded by thousands of people becoming one of the crowd facing the stage, singing and dancing with them. When she starts jumping up and down the people around her do the same. It gave me goosebumps. So simple but so powerful.

I can't speak for anyone else but tonight for me this show was an experience I will never forget. It is one you should experience as well.



Photos courtesy of Steve McCabe from Crave
Thanks also to Leah Victoria

 

Other Reviews By Paul Goddard

Dead Favours - Album Review: Misbehaviour
21 Jun 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Back in 2016 Jared Wrennall stepped out from behind the tub thumping pop/rock masterpiece that was Steriogram, picked up the guitar and got to work on putting together New Zealand’s next chart bothering Rock n Roll machine. Now after 3 years and 3 singles we finally have the full-blown debut album Misbehaviour.
Read More...
Gig Review: Alien Weaponry @ Underworld, London -16/06/2019
18 Jun 2019 // by Paul Goddard
You have got to admire Alien Weaponry’s dedication and commitment. Back in 2016 they said “there is no plan B and that is good as it means we have to deliver on plan A” And deliver is just what they have done.
Read More...
Gig Review: Miss June @ The Old Blue Last, London - 11/06/2019
12 Jun 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Tonight just blew my mind.Here I am in London town and just checked into one of the funkiest/quirkiest (usually code word for SHITE on booking.
Read More...
The Backchat - Single Review: Read My Mind
11 May 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Relationships are a complex beast. The title of this debut single from Auckland based The Backchat is going to be familiar with anyone who has ever had a relationship that lasted more than 5 mins.
Read More...
The Echo Ohs - Single Review: Fool
03 May 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Check out some of the ways that have been used to describe the sound Auckland three piece The Echo Ohs create. It is pretty entertaining, psych cowboy, Psych Spaghetti surf?
Read More...
Sean Bodley - Album Review: I Am Human
26 Apr 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Instrumental music is a concept that I have often struggled with. The first time I really connected with it was when I first heard the brick in your face abrasiveness of Mogwai.
Read More...
Sit Down In Front - Single Review: Rain
26 Apr 2019 // by Paul Goddard
It is pissing down. London Town, it’s Spring 2019 and a storm named Hannah has decided to make herself known in all her howling wind and icy rain glory.
Read More...
Blue River Baby - Single Review: Walk of Shame
15 Apr 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Blue River Baby have a goal to get people moving by creating songs that make people move and playing them well to as many people as possible. It is a simple goal but one that they achieve well as they recently showed when they played to 20,000 people on NYE in Nelson.
Read More...
View All Articles By Paul Goddard

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • OLD TOWN ROAD (REMIX)
    Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
  • I DON'T CARE
    Ed Sheeran And Justin Bieber
  • BAD GUY
    Billie Eilish
  • SOMEONE YOU LOVED
    Lewis Capaldi
  • TRUTH HURTS
    Lizzo
  • CROSS ME
    Ed Sheeran feat. Chance The Rapper And PnB Rock
  • IF I CAN'T HAVE YOU
    Shawn Mendes
  • THE LONDON
    Young Thug feat. J. Cole And Travis Scott
  • TALK
    Khalid And Disclosure
  • 3 NIGHTS
    Dominic Fike
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem