…and the last tiny part of my brain that thought people were exaggarating when they described the concert experience…was blown out of my head after the first 30 seconds of the show!
As amazing as the songs are on record, it’s just NOTHING compared to the live performance, when you are…right there…
Before the show, my best friend and I - and we are seriously FATM embryos, since we are only fans since August this year…- spent about six hours making a banner. We, in our delusioned brains, thought that maybe…the band would react to us if it were awesome enough. Being total geeks, we decided to go for a poster with Isa’s giant teddybear boyfriend Sanchez. We painted him on this big blue cardboard, put a black bar over his eyes and covered his intimate bits with a huge heart, stating “Sanchez, show us your furry *beep*, FATM can strip too!” in big, in our opinion artsy letters.
Around 2 1/2 hours before the entrance time, we showed up in line…but there weren’t too many people there. After freezing ourselves half to death and chatting with a couple of fun Flows, we received our pink armbands for the front section (yay!) When the doors opened, we ran like wackos into the hall(that is, after the security managed to scan our tickets…bc you know…modern technique is tricky…). Regardless of my non-talent as a sprinter, we managed to be almost in the center of the front row. (ahhh! my 1st concert right at the front!!)
Everybody around us was pretty cool and I also have to make a huge compliment to the security guys, especially the one next to us. Everybody was super nice and relaxed!!
We had to stand around randomly for another 1 1/2 hours. The time was spent listening to horribly hypnotic raggae music that almost sent me right into a coma. *lol*
When it finally went dark, we wouldn’t have cared if they had hired some local band making music on trashcans, as long as something was happening! To our immense relieve Spector turned out to be awesome though! So awesome in fact, that we decided to buy their album right after the show! The singer had a pretty bad cold, but he was really powerful nonetheless. The songs were catchy and the lyrics seemed pretty great too. I also loved their funny flowerly outfits and their constant effort to pronounce Düsseldorf correctly. :D
Spector left the stage under pretty big applause. The lights went on again and the roadies started to make the stage ready for FATM. When they carried out Flo’s mic I made a 1st squee. Then they moved Isa’s keyboard directly in front of us, which was an extra bonus. I had to giggle a little at the big guy who vacuum cleaned the stage for Flo with this tiny yellow vaccuum cleaner that had pink stars on it…Lol
This didn’t took too much time. I had heard from someone else that it took them one our to prepare the stage but in our case…it seemed like 20 minutes or half an hour. I’m not sure, I was too busy watching huge guys polishing all instruments including Flo’s mic with seemingly old dusters…
After all instruments were shining and sounded awesome, it went dark again. What should follow was seriously, by far, the best concert I’ve seen in my life. Not only did the machine sound absolutely flawless, as if they had simply jumped right out of the record…nah, Flo managed, in her true crazy yet moving fashion, to top anything I could’ve possibly come up with beforehand. When her shadow appeared behind the scenery, the entire hall started screaming. The moment she entered the stage, she had everybody in her hands. She could’ve told us to pretend to be birds and try to fly…most probably would’ve done just that.
I never noticed these cute little jumps from one foot to the other that she does during Only if for a night…but hey, I could see her every pore! Which also made my friend and I turn to each other, blurting out how seriously, seriously pretty this woman is. But it’s not simply her face that makes her beautiful, there’s this energy coming out of her, this aura of pure joy and happiness accompanied by her megawatt smile that charms you directly.
They continued performaning basicly all of my favorites:
- What the water gave me (I think that was the song when she almost fell from the stage!! She lost her balance while stretching her hands out to the fans…thank God she managed to control her body before the security guard had to catch her. My friend also said she almost fell on stage at some point, but I didn’t spot that. Clumsy Flo!)
-Cosmic love (this was the first song where I noticed how her eyes tear up when she sings the really emotional bits, she’s living these songs to her core)
-Rabbit Heart (my crazy friend raised me up! I also found a video, realising I was possibly the first one up, altough it seemed like it took us ages…*haha* I am still surprised she didn’t just collapse underneath me, but hey…the adrenaline seriously made her carry me for almost the entire song! Let’s just say a completely enthousiastic hall during a FATM concert is a sight to remember!)
-the new version of Lover to Lover (Flo’s crazy foot drumming and clapping at the beginning was priceless)
- Drumming song (boy, this is EPIC live!)
- Shake it out (People around me were going completely mental during that song, it was amazing!)
- You’ve got the love (Düsseldorf are pretty decent singers, I gotta admit I’m not the biggest fan of that song and neither is my friend, but the live version is ten times better than the record version. I especially love it when Flo points at different sides of the hall and makes everyone sing. That’s another thing I noticed…she doesn’t have to speek, she just makes small gestures and everybody til the last row just knows what to do)
- Heartlines (again, amazing to be part of this giant choir orchestrated by Flo)
- Sweet Nothing (As much as I got used to the original song by now, I gotta say…I’m an Indierock girl at heart and this song just got it when it’s live, all tuned down to its essentials)
- No Light no Light (Holy sh*t, so much emotion, all these losers who get told in casting shows that they should put their soul into it should simply watch Flo sing this live! And THE note is just…a normal person would probably spontaniously combust trying to sing that. The entire hall was silent when she did that, all thinking “is she going to faint after this or what???”)
- Leave my Body (this is a freakin’ hymn live. I personally love this song to death and didn’t necessarily think they’d perform it, so I was uber-happy!)
- Spectrum (Need I say anything? 7000 people melting down at the same time is probably the best way to describe this…)
- Dog Days are over (Not surprising people were freakin’ out. Experiencing the ritual was a truly special thing. I also think Flo should record a song called Düüüsseldooooorf, because I doubt anyone can sing this name so well…:P)
The only song I was really hoping to hear but didn’t was Seven Devils, but oh well…you can’t have everything in life…*haha* All in all I think this was a great setlist.
Now to the non-musical bits. First I gotta say I adore the little banter and entire communication between the bandmembers during the concert. Rob and Isa were constantly laughing and chatting, Flo was sticking out her tongue to Rob and some point and then randomly hugged him, Flo and Isa were being their usual selves, constantly smiling at each other and Flo tried to convince Isa to come up for the ritual but unfortunatly she was hiding behind her keyboard, meh…*haha*We also sang a Happy Birthday for one of the background singers (Kill me, I forgot his name, even though I sang it, I only know Sam *haha*) and a belated one for Chris. During the entire time it was obvious how fond they all are of each other.
The best part for us though was Flo’s usual talk to the audience. Shortly before that our lovely security guard pointed our banner out to Isa. She laughed right away, gave us several thumbs up and formed a heart out of her hands. That was defenetly more than we had hoped for. But when Flo addressed us directly when she started talking, we felt slightly like heroes (dumb, I know haha) She started to explain to everyone who Sanchez is, asked us how we knew of him ( I yelled Twitter but it’s defenetly not easy to talk to someone on stage when you are in a croud of screaming fans, so I’m not sure if she heard it lol) and started this cute banter with Isa over how she apparently lost him because we had him. Then she received a pretty looking letter from someone and got excited about it like a little kid, saying it was the third letter she received from this people in a row. She gave someone a shout out who said it was her birthday and finally she noticed someone from the book club. She explained why she had no time to chose a new book yet and seemed all ashamed and adorable. Before she had already received a present from someone which she took with an equally adorable expression as if it were Christmas. She finished the talk with something like “Sanchez is here, the book club is here, you are all here…” And she, as usually, thank us several times for coming and filling this big hall.
The atmosphere during the entire concert was amazing. Everybody seemed to have the time of their lives, which was helped by having the impression that Flo had it too. She’s seriously born to do this. If she didn’t alread exist, one would have to invent her. Her talent as a performer is seemingly endless. With a few glares, words and simple gestures she controls tousands of people. During the concert it doesn’t seem like you are there to watch FATM, it’s like you’re there to have a huge party with them. This is IMO what truly stands out. There are many great bands out there and many great singers, but the combination of FATM, ie. amazing musicians playing amazing songs with an amazing frontwoman who can’t only sing holes into bulletproof glass but also has an entertainment factor of the highest order, make Florence + the Machine the most exciting thing that has happened in the music industry for ages.
I hope this gap year will be well spent and we will see a 3rd album that can keep up with the other two. I seriously hope this is just the beginning, because there’s the potential to become one of these really huge acts people will remember for decades. Yeah, I want FATM to invite some young, talented singer to their 50 year anniversary tour one day!!
Sorry for this endless case of extreme rambling but I had to write this down! *haha*