hmv.com reviews… Florence + The Machine @ BST Hyde Park
Florence + the Machine lit up Hyde Park over the weekend at British Summer Time and we were there to review it...
Florence + The Machine, the big-selling band with the big-voiced singer, coming to the end of a year and a half of touring their third studio album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.
In London's Hyde Park as part of the British Summer Time festival throughout July.
Any good supports?
The bill is rammed with lots of well known acts including Polica, Cat Power, Blood Orange and a very damp ridden DJ set from Jamie XX. However the main draw is none other than Kendrick Lamar; almost a headline act in himself.
His hour long set feels incredibly brief; maybe due to the fact he appears five minutes late on the stage, but it's because every single song is a hit that goes down with the audience. We are treated to cuts from his two most recently critically acclaimed albums with songs like 'Backstreet Freestyle' and 'Swimming Pools' provoking large reactions.
However it is towards the end with 'm.A.A.d city' and 'King Kunta' where the biggest sing alongs come in. What's a shame during the set is the surprising lack of the song 'i' from last years To Pimp A Butterfly. It's a shame to what is otherwise a hit driven set.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
The fields today are sold out with everybody basking in the sun and then searching for cover in the rain. For the main acts that crowds are swarming into the main arenas to try and get as close as they possible can.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
Starting off with 'What The Water Gave Me' is a slow build into the set but has everyone singing along nonetheless. It's when 'Ship To Wreck' follows that the crowds start jumping around to the backdrop on the London sun going down.
Stating that this is the largest London show they have ever played Florence thanks the crowd and asks everyone to get on shoulders during 'Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)'. During 'Delilah' she asks everyone if they can put away their phones; to not record anything during the song which they actually comply with.
The set comprises of selections from a three of her albums as well as various singles she's released along the way. After a quick costume change before 'Spectrum' she raises a Pride flag as she bounds across the stage to huge cheers from the London crowd. Her cover of 'You've Got The Love' unsurprisingly has one of the biggest reactions of the evening with large sing alongs happening all across the park.
'Dog Days' is a light-hearted highlight just before the encore which starts off with the pounding 'What Kind Of Man' and follows with the equally thumping 'Drumming Song'. As the band leave the stage to a loving home crowd, it's a shame that we are going to have to probably wait a few years until we see them on a stage like this again.
Did they put on much of a show?
In typical Florence style she bounces up and down across the stage throughout the entire set. Set against a screened backdrop of molten lava we even get dancers on stage during an extended outro on 'Queen Of Peace'.
What was the highlight of the set?
On the last song before the encore 'Dog Days Are Over' gets everybody in a joyful mood singing along, with Florence prompting the audience to embrace whomever they are next to in the crowds.
Where can I catch them next?
This is unfortunately the end of an extensive tour for the band after headlining several festivals across Europe. Expect them to be in the studio recording their fourth album and then touring again in the next year or so.
Florence + The Machine's How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is out now and available to preview and purchase on the right-hand side of the page.