Florence Welch a force to be­hold

Los Angeles Times - - POP & HISS - By Au­gust Brown au­gust.brown@la­times.com

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.

Mar­cus Yam Los An­ge­les Times)

FLORENCE + the Ma­chine was a stand­out Sun­day, with the red-haired siren hit­ting high notes.

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