Luka Bazulka: Back in 2018, Florence and the Machine played the Hollywood Bowl – I had never seen Florence live and in all my years of living in Los Angeles, I had never been to the Bowl. I could not have asked for a more perfect pairing of firsts. Danny [Zuker] and I grabbed a wildly overpriced Modelo and made our way to our seats. I didn’t really have any expectations – I’d been a fan of Florence since high school, even dressed my room all moody and witchy in college to enhance the listening experience of Ceremonials on repeat. I knew it would be ethereal, but nothing prepared me for how her feet would seemingly never touch the ground when she moved – for how she looked like the best of heaven and hell – for how she would wield her voice in a way that felt so primal then in an instant, pure and childish. If the artist is the child that survived, then Florence is an Artist. My favorite kind.
The stage felt like a deconstructed mid century modern home – beautiful but only really brought to life by the players, the machine living and breathing on the different platforms.
She was well into her set when suddenly she sprinted (floated) up half the stadium seating – which was quite a trek and all uphill – she struck a pose on a short concrete wall dividing the crowd, howling and holding her highest note of the night – actual magic. I’ll never forget the night – I’ve since changed my home decor to a more personally meaningful taste, but the music still cycles through my playlists and that show reinforced what I felt the day I found her music – at its core, singing is animalistic, communal and spiritual and the more I can let go, the more I can give in.
Danny and I admittedly did have a laugh at the poor security guard charged with the task of keeping up with her during the sprint. What a night.
The Scarlet Opera and the Machine: The Scarlet Opera’s “The Place to Be” single is out now. They perform at the Troubadour on October 26, having recently played a sold out show there.
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