Let’s all be thankful that Florence took a year off from music in 2012, because it sparked wonderful memories, influences, experiences, now recorded in 2015 album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful and performed in concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl past Tuesday, October 20. In front of red curtains, a silver backdrop, and classic sport stadium-like lights stood Florence, dressed in all silvery white and blue. In other words, she looked like an angel — an angel with a wonderfully hyperactive, perfectly unpeaceful energy.
While she sang “What the Waters Gave Me” she continuously twirled around on stage and played her tambourine. This went on throughout the entire night (it’s no wonder she broke her foot early April during Coachella). Her quirky vitality made it clear she was celebrating her music with the audience rather than simply playing for the audience. Known as an artist who encourages her fans to love and embrace each other, to dance around unembarrassed, to sing aloud, she was ecstatic when someone threw some clothing on the stage even before the second song. “You’re getting naked already! This is the earliest this has happened in the show. I love it!”
During “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up),” she ran through the crowd and finished the song in the middle of the stands. Her contagious energy had the audience yelling, dancing, and singing at the top of its lungs. How she sang so beautifully and continued to dance, jump, run around, and make beginner kung fu-like moves amazed all. Before Florence started “Cosmic Love,” and bringing a harpist on stage for accompaniment, she told stories of how she likes to write songs. She finished with now classics such as “Dog Days Are Over,” “Spectrum,” and “Sweet Nothing,” and with new ones including “What Kind of Man,” “Delilah,” and “Queen of Peace.”
Constantly giving shout outs to the audience in the back, telling stories, holding as many hands as possible, and running around with the clothes thrown on stage, the amazingly talented Florence proved to be a genuine artist who cares for her fans and likes to get crazy with them.