Florence + the Machine @ Place Bell – September 2, 2022

Having never seen Florence Welch and her band live before I really have nothing to compare what happened at Place Bell last night to what came before. But this clean slate thought the show was great. From the opening act to the end. It was a night of magical music, dancing, singalongs, and incredible energy.

The night started off right on time at 7:45 when Brit Arlo Parks’ four-piece band took the stage. Where do I start about her? She is cool, funky, obviously loves what she does, and cute to boot. I mean her smile is just so contagious. As for her music, it is smooth and reminded me a little bit of Sade.

After her debut album earned her multiple Brit Award nominations and the 2021 Mercury Prize for Best Album, she continues to build upon that great start. The world outside of the UK has sat up and taken notice. Wisely she has opened for the likes of Clairo, Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and played a set at Glastonbury in order to introduce people to her music. Now, opening up for Florence + the Machine a whole new swath of music fans will get to know her music.

In matching shirt and shorts, white socks and trainers and with her hair died blonde, Parks set about wooing the people who bothered showing up on time. Her brand of soul has plenty of nods to old school but with a fresh vibe. It is smooth, funky and filled with lyrics that are obviously personal. Her voice is big-time soothing. What’s not to like? The correct answer is nothing.

After the usual time between the end of an opener’s set and the headliner, Florence & the Machine took the stage to the opening bars of “Heaven is Here” a track from their latest album Dance Fever. Welch was wearing a flowing black and gold sheer peignoir over a black bra and high-waisted bottom. Oh, and as typical, she was barefooted. with her long red hair flowing, she totally looked like the high priestess of music that she is. Florence is king and we were all her dancing, singing subjects.

Her voice is so evocative, bringing the requisite emotion to all the songs. The thousands there were under a spell. Not of the Maleficent variety but of the I feel wonderful while under it. It wasn’t only the old hits like “Dogs Days Are Over”, “Hunger” or “What Kind of Man” that the crowd loved but the new tracks as well. Every song brought with it plenty of energy and showcased the incredible range of Welch’s voice. What I learned is that as strong as her voice is as soft as her speaking voice is. Plus she seems rather shy. She still managed to get her message across as the the audience was caught up in her every move and word.

While not talking and singing, her on stage demeanour is of a very confident woman. She skips and twirls with abandon from side to side of the stage seeming like a woman without a care in the world. That is the power of music. Welch ran through the entire floor portion of the arena and even while on stage kept that connection going by reaching out and grabbing the hands of all the crowd members she could touch. Obviously, she loves her fans as much as they do her.

For the entire 95 minutes of the set, Florence + the Machine had people in a kind of Dance Fever. Happy, dancing up a storm, waving their hands, and singing at the top of their voices. The set consisted of songs from the entire breadth of the band’s 15 years together.

Arlo Parks Setlist:

  1. Green Eyes
  2. Caroline
  3. Eugene
  4. Hurt
  5. Too Good
  6. Black Dog
  7. Softly

Florence & the Machine Setlist:

  1. Heaven is Here
  2. King
  3. Ship to Wreck
  4. Free
  5. Daffodil
  6. Dog Days Are Over
  7. Girls Against God
  8. Dream Girl Evil
  9. Prayer Factory
  10. Big God
  11. Cassandra
  12. What Kind of Man
  13. Morning Elvis
  14. June
  15. Hunger
  16. Choreomania
  17. Kiss With a Fist
  18. Cosmic Love
  19. My Love
  20. Restraint


21. Never Let Me Go

22. Shake It Out

23. Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)