Florence Welch a force to behold
Every year, there’s always a Coachella overachiever. It’s usually a small act in a midday tent or a late-night session that unexpectedly persuades crowds to stay to the end.
This year, it was a main stage almost-headliner who played like the world was hers. Everyone’s talking about Drake and Madonna’s tawdry little smooch, but don’t be fooled — Florence + the Machine was Sunday’s standout.
Florence Welch has never needed to convince anyone she can really, really sing. Though a festival mainstay and a major-venue headliner, she is somehow still easy enough to overlook with big, regal pop that never quite captured U.S. crowds as fully as her talent warranted.
That all went out the window at Coachella. Welch demolished the main stage’s huge expanse in ways that even AC/DC couldn’t hack. Her voice has never been better, and when she dug into big runs on “What Kind of Man” and “Ship to Wreck,” she made it impossible to do anything but watch her.
No singer has needed the support of backing vocalists less, but they added an unquantifiable zest and grandeur to “Shake It Off.” But Welch was a force of nature all on her own, whether hitting expert high notes or whirling herself into captivating fits of white cloth and red hair. Fans from across the grounds ran headlong into the crowd just to soak it in.
It probably shouldn’t be a surprise that a second-billed main stage act put on such a show. But still, as the Sunday night field buzzed with Drake anticipation, for about an hour Welch took Coachella by the throat and made it hers.
FLORENCE + the Machine was a standout Sunday, with the red-haired siren hitting high notes.