Friday, September 21, 2012

An evening with Flo

Two quick notes before I start:

1. I just finished another column. Check it out if you feel like it. Or don't. It's about being maimed by my children.
2. The squirrels are naked for the first time in months! 

Moving on. 

A month or two ago my sister Sarah and I were chatting about how much we loved Florence + the Machine (I believe I told Sarah I thought Flo spoke to my soul or somesuch excessive fawning). She mentioned she was going to see her at Merriweather Post Pavilion in September and invited me to tag along. The prospect of a kid- and reality-television-free night was too good to pass up -- not to mention the chance to find out if Florence's voice was just as powerful live.

So the concert was Wednesday night. And, as expected, she rocked my socks off (who came up with that one, anyway?).

Florence Welch - down there somewhere.
Even though I'm a grownup - I'm still sitting on the lawn. 
First off, I have to say just being able to drive my beloved lime green Beetle instead of the boring, silver mom-mobile was awesome. And not having to listen to "music from and inspired from 'Mickey Mouse Clubhouse'" was even awesomer. I probably could've just driven around all night listening to my favorite music with my windows down and considered that the best night ever. 

But it got better!

It was the first concert Sarah and I had been to together since our first concert ever (Smashing Pumpkins during the Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness tour in 1997 at what was the US Airways Arena and what is now the Capital Center ... way more information then needed). Anyway, at the time I'd say that Sarah and I were kind of at the start of our high school-era separation -- I don't think she was thrilled that her little sister was tagging along on her first concert (Sarah - you can correct me on this). But since having our first kids within months of each other have been closer than ever and coming to realize we have way more in common then we thought (including, of course, Flo.)

Being able to swap poop stories while getting some pre-show coffee amidst of sea of kid-free  20-something hipsters was fun and silly and only topped by dancing and singing along to our favorite songs.

And Florence was marvelous live. She floated out in a flowing, gauzy robe like a high priestess overseeing our musical experience (it is the Ceremonials" tour, so I suspect this was all on purpose).

The show had some of the best features of church: Music and fellowship (at one point she insisted everyone turn around and introduce themselves to their neighbors and then she had everyone leaping about together during the encore: "Dog Days Are Over").

She transported us to the mystical land of Merry-land (she's British and therefore everything she says sounds cool and/or adorable) where everyday life experiences just seemed more epic.     

Here's what she played if you're curious.

As expected, I got goosebumps during "Shake it Out" and "Cosmic Love" -- she just has this thundering, resonant voice. If my writing voice ever sounded half as powerful as her singing voice, I'd feel pretty good. But, I digress way too much, and she gets right to the point. I wonder what my singer equivalent would be? Plus, she's like the soundtrack for Middle Earth and my novel is definitely Regular-Earth based (is that High Earth? Low Earth? Probably Low Earth).

I'm rambling again.

In sum, Florence + Machine + Night Out + Sister = Superb. 

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