South London native Florence Welch reminded a crammed RAC Arena crowd on Saturday night that modern music still has some soul.
It was the 32-year-old singer's second stadium show in Perth after playing at the Arena in 2015.
Florence Welch wowed a packed RAC Arena Saturday night. Credit:Isabelle Haubrich
Set against an understated lineal backdrop that looked like stacked pallets Florence, supported by her eight-piece machine, enthusiastically and contemporarily danced her way through the band's four albums that have always resonated with Australian audiences.
She appeared barefoot and dressed like she was about to go to a picnic at Hanging Rock and launched straight into June and Hunger from the band's 2018 album High as Hope.
She played up her attire. After telling the crowd to hold hands with strangers before she sung 2018 single South London she said, "thank you for taking directions from an English ghost".
Her stunning voice filled the arena and whipped the crowd into a frenzy as she revisited fan favourites from 2009 debut-album Lungs and 2011 album Ceremonials with tracks like Only If For a Night and Dog Days Are Over.
The one love hippy theme permeated throughout the night.
Before singing her ode to punk queen Patti Smith Patricia, she "welcomed" her spirit into the arena (a quick Google search reveals Patti is still alive) and there was a lot of forced love.
"Tell a stranger that you love them, because I promise you on some cosmic level you do," Florence said.
About half of the songs of the night were from High as Hope and while it might not have reached the popularity of her previous albums, only reaching a measly number 2 on Aussie charts, her vocal prowess was enough to leave everyone in awe.
She played several tracks from 2015 album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful including the upbeat and anthemic Delilah.
In a moment of pure madness Florence actually walked through the arena crowd. Cringingly people were desperately reaching out to touch her and I questioned the safety of the whole thing given Perth is so starved of any actual celebrities we would actually eat one if we could.
Florence was perfectly in tune with the audience all night. At one point she politely asked everyone to put their phones away and I'll be damned, they actually did.
Later, before singing Lungs' Cosmic Love she asked the crowd to turn on any light they had. Most people turned on their phone torches, which always looks amazing in a stadium, but I did see two people in the standing area with lighters. Props to those people.
An elongated encore was met with delirium until she eventually arrived back on stage.
Disappointingly she didn't play personal favourite You've Got the Love from Lungs but she finished with a thoroughly satisfying and high-energy rendition of Ceremonials' Shake it Out.
The crowd, an eclectic mix of young and old, left the arena with ringing ears and full hearts.
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