Picture one of those old ballerina boxes. The beautiful details on both the inside and outside of the box outline the beautiful dancer twirling in the middle. Now imagine that box is enchanted. You open it to discover gothic cathedral-esque carvings along the inside as the most beautifully delicate, redheaded ballerina emerges in a dazzling white dress. Her movements are now much more animated but her grace stays untouched as she performs for you. Instead of soft twinkling accompanying her, there's a grand symphonic band delivering powerful arrangements of some of the most intimate songs a lyricist can write. Colorful lights flash across your face as you watch the beauty unfold. Welcome to a Florence + The Machine
There are few moments, let alone concerts, that could live up to the night of July 31 in Detroit, Michigan. Across from Comerica Park -- where the beloved Tiger's play -- is Fox Theatre,
a beautiful gem in the heart of Detroit. The marble floors, the central staircase, and the grand pillars are only a fraction of The Fox's beauty. The stage is lined with a grand, golden frame featuring Indian, Egyptian, and Far East-inspired designs. Each pillar that stems from either side of the stage is engraved with jeweled images of various Asiatic Gods. The beauty was so undeniable that even the breathtaking Florence Welsh herself had to comment. "This is easily one of the most beautiful venues we've ever been to. Thank you for having us, Detroit."
The genuine sentiments didn't stop there. Halfway through her set she stopped to tell the audience what she thought of their hometown of Detroit. "We just want you to know that we've had so much fun here today." Flo went on to describe the time she spent in Detroit's Heidleberg Project praising its value to the city. "It's nice to come so far from home and see such beauty in places where people think it might not be." She went on to praise Detroit for its spirit and courage. As a native to the Mitten State let me tell you, it isn't often Detroit is praised and to hear it come from someone like Florence Welsh was surreal. It was at this moment, I realized nothing was ever going to be more magical than watching Florence. The elements were all there.
Only weeks before the show, Florence + The Machine canceled shows due to the songstress losing her golden voice. She was later quoted as saying "I seriously felt something snap." I'm no doctor but I have to assume the malady was pretty damaging. Miraculously, Welsh was back on the road in no time displaying the same tenacity many of her lyrics demonstrate; the same tenacity Detroit lives by.
For an hour and a half, Florence + The Machine connected with the Detroit audience in an impressively intimate way. Not only was the setlist filled with songs that explore the murky distance between strength and weakness, Florence was demonstrating it. It was clear that many of her songs were altered and lowered to give her voice a break, but the quality wasn't compromised by this change. The arrangements were unique and refreshing, making the live experience that much greater. She kept on despite the subtle strain, and she thanked Detroit for inspiring her.
As you looked out into the crowd, it was clear how touching the show was. Many eyes -- yes, even mine -- swelled up with tears as they witnessed the beauty. Even then, Welsh kept the shows from being too dramatic. She played with the crowd, interacting with them, hugging many who brought gifts to the stage, and even running through the middle aisle during "Rabbit Hear (Raise It Up)." The night felt like a meeting of underdogs, and a city was inspired. On behalf of Detroit, I say thank you, Florence. Truly.