Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Florence and the Machine / Holy Hail @ Mezzanine, San Francisco, 17 April 2010

Poor Holy Hail had some good ideas and lots of enthusiasm, but terrible sound. I hadn't been to the Mezzanine before. It is a big location for Indie rock (shudder) and they do get a lot of British bands. For a time they didn't offer advance tickets which was a deal breaker for me. Inside is a nice club layout with a few hidden away places where you could sit around. The stage is weirdly in a corner of the dance floor. I was worried that this was the source of the poor sound but it must have been just traditional cruelty to support acts.

Florence and The Machine @ The Mezzanine

Florence and the Machine are a band but are really one person, the eponymous singer. The hired help consists of players of drums/bass/guitar/keyboards and (super trendy) harp, all dressed in black so as to fade into the background. Florence was dressed in a traditional combination of wedding dress style leotard over metallic shorts, along with a flowing shawl which was worn in several different ways. She has two tones when singing, a plaintive throaty voice, and a full blooded roar form the gut. When she lets loose it is an awesome sound which sweeps everyone along with it. Some of the songs on the album are pretty decent so altogether it is an impressive package. Why then did my attention wander a bit? Well I was tired. But I would have sacrificed a bit of power in the singing for more detail, and I'd like to have heard a bit more character from the band. Overall though this was memorable.

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