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Florence + the Machine

Zilker Park, Oct. 12

Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, Fri., Oct. 19, 2012

ACL Live Shot: Florence + the Machine
Photo by Gary Miller

Funny that both of Florence + the Machine's romantic art-rock LPs, Lungs (2009) and Ceremonials (2011), are breakup albums, when you consider that singer Florence Welch's stage persona is that of a witchy princess far too ethereal for human romance. Then again, that persona is so prone to theatrics that her girlish preoccupation with love seems only natural. Taking the stage in a floor-length black-and-green chiffon gown, Welch began the rite with "Only If for a Night," the opening track from Ceremonials. Keenly aware of her performance and the audience's adoration of her, Welch leapt down from the stage during "Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)," prancing into the center aisle before turning back to the stage, pausing dramatically to stare off into the middle distance and letting the sun's fading rays bathe her ginger hair in the gloaming before retaking the stage to finish off the tune. Welch and company, which included a host of backup singers, collaborator Isabella Summers, and a harpist, capped off the set with a jubilant version of "Dog Days Are Over," with Welch exhorting the crowd to jump in time to the music. Caught in her big-hearted spell, they were all too happy to oblige.

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