“Now, Philadelphia, we’re going to do something very strange,” Florence Welch told a packed house at the Wells Fargo Center. “It’s going to make you feel weird, it’s going to make you feel uncomfortable and very vulnerable. But do you trust me?”
It was hard to know how to respond to that, exactly. This came after the frontperson and namesake of theatrical modern rock juggernaut Florence and the Machine had asked the entire arena to hold hands and sway to the dramatic swell of “South London Forever.” It was after she told us to turn to whoever was standing next to us, friend or stranger, and tell them that we loved them. On the one hand, there was a sense of “what now?” On the other hand, it’s not as though anything bad had happened thus far. Though Welch joked about making the evening “extra hippie,” the crowd participation component of last night’s Florence and the Machine concert was clearly intended to get us out of our comfort zones, to break down the walls that we’d built between ourselves and the outside world, but also to bring the room together as one.
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