Florence and the Machine and Holly Miranda (w/ Nada Surf) at Bowery Ballroom, New York, New York, October 27th, 2009 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, March 26th, 2023  

Florence and the Machine

Florence and the Machine and Holly Miranda at Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY, October 27th, 2009,

Oct 29, 2009 Web Exclusive Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern Bookmark and Share

It’s no surprise that Florence and the Machine’s first proper New York show sold out quickly, as this performance was way overdue but very much worth the wait. Singer Florence Welch was already on the rise in anticipation of her ethereal, forceful, and haunting debut Lungs (Universal), which flaunts the singer’s confident attitude and soaring vocal range. At the Bowery Ballroom on October 27, a few hundred lucky New Yorkers got proof that yes, this British “it” girl can sing like that in real life too.

Singer/songwriter Holly Miranda opened the show, and while her music was a little too stripped down at CMJ a few days earlier, that wasn’t an issue at this show, as she had “special guests” Nada Surf to thicken the sound. The pop-rock band joined Miranda and guitarist Tim Mislock for a couple of Miranda’s songs and Nada Surf’s song “Killian’s Red” from its 2003 album Let Go.

Welch entered the stage to the whistling noise and tribal-sounding drums that mark the beginning of the love song “Between Two Lungs.” She looked angelic in a sheer, flowing white dress contrasted by her bright red hair, and the stage resembled Lungs’ cover art, with flowers wrapped around her microphone stand and on top of the drum set, a floral-print tapestry draped in back of the stage, and a silver-sequined bird sitting atop the keyboards.

To say Welch is a powerhouse might be a bit of an understatement: her piercing soprano was flawless in “Are You Hurting the One You Love?” and she belted out “Drumming Song” and her best-known track “Dog Days Are Over” without blinking an eye. She also was captivating to watch, with broad arm motions, dramatic facial expressions, and her red hair flipping around as she hit the tom drum placed in front of her. Her five-musician Machine wasn’t too shabby, either, most notably the harpist, who at one point used one hand to pluck the brightly colored harp strings and the other to control electronic effects on a computer next to him.

When it came time to thank the crowd and say her goodbyes before a two-song encore, Welch looked like she was almost in tears, thrilled at the crowd’s overwhelming approval. She better get used to it, thoughshe’s only going up from here.

Florence and the Machine’s setlist:

1. Between Two Lungs

2. My Boy Builds Coffins

3. Kiss With a Fist

4. Are You Hurting the One You Love?

5. Howl

6. Drumming Song

7. I’m Not Calling You A Liar

8. Hurricane Drunk

9. Dog Days Are Over

10. Cosmic Love

11. If I Had a Heart

12. Blinding


1. You’ve Got the Love

2. Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)



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