Fine Florence & the Machine show, other commentary

Florence Welch...that voice!

Florence & the Machine is massive in her native UK and has broken through in other countries. Her Coachella overflow crowd provided early indication that the same would be in store here in the U.S., but it was that Video Music Awards appearance that really got the ball rolling. They just sold out 3 nights at The Wiltern. I first saw her a year ago at The Troubadour. Florence’s voice has always been amazing and she had a nice presence back then. Now the success and touring have made her a full-blown star. She’s got the moves and a pleasing between-song banter to augment her hit songs and…that voice. We were struck by the gorgeous set and lighting. The crowd was very young and well-scrubbed; they they were loud! Even the intermission buzz displayed a level of anticipation rarely seen in L.A. Most of Florence’s main set was fairly down-tempo (except for that voice), but the crowd stayed with her. Hit rockers “Kiss With A Fist” and “Dog Days Are Over” were the final two encores. Not many newer artists can get away with saving the hard and fast stuff until the end.  It all seems to come very naturally for her, which bodes well for a long career.

Good news for alternative rock stations around the U.S.!  Ratings are improving and one has to believe that the influx of fresh sounding new music and new artists is having an effect. The indie world has broken Muse, Kings Of Leon, Vampire Weekend,  and Arcade FireMumford & Sons, Black Keys, La Roux, and Florence & the Machine are closing in. Even if many hipsters may not personally love all of these, indie fans can all be proud that their movement has spawned artists gaining well-deserved mainstream acceptance…Many newer artists feel that January/February is the best time to release a new album. Looking at the past several years, I feel July-October is actually better. Lots of mid-level established artists drop critically-acclaimed CD’s right after the holidays, which makes it harder to get noticed. July-October is actually a better window because there’s less out there. Of course, there’s no telling what 2011 and 2012 will be like but this is at least food for thought…Speaking of release dates, it’s interesting to note that Matt & Kim released their “Grand” album on Obama’s Inauguration Day. Last week’s “Sidewalks” came out last Tuesday on the day of the midterm elections…I saw “Nowhere Boy” last week. Great film about teen-age John Lennon…I’ve been meaning to thank WSUM General Manager Dave Black and Program Director Sawyer Hildebrandt for giving me the opportunity to jump on the air and play an hour’s worth of great new music back in September. Thanks also to Kyle Deckelbaum of the station’s “Red Alert” sports show for inviting me to sit in with the crew and opine about my two favorite teams, the Wisconsin Badgers and Chicago Cubs…I enjoyed my onair chat last Sunday night with George Walsh, who hosts “The Scene” on internet station We covered some of my A&R projects and some fine new music as well.

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2 Responses to “Fine Florence & the Machine show, other commentary”

  1. hardcore92 says:

    Florence & the Machine are and will be the best female singing band you hear this year. They have done so much in such little time.I enjoyed reading your post about them, and what there all about,and there music is so cool.thanks for the read. respect!

  2. Bruce Rave says:

    Thanks, hardcore! Been following her from her first LA gig and it’s been great fun watching her blow up. Anyone new from the UK that you’re excited about?

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