Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Taking Some Time to Catch Up

Besides my last post about life's sometimes crazy pace, it's been a while since I have written on here. I have a lot to write about because of that very fact! In the past month, I have attended three concerts, celebrated a birthday (23), got a sweet hairdo, traveled to a few different states, and landed a job, among other events!

But let's back track about a month from today...(cue Wayne's World dream sequence...)

4. Florence and the Machine, The Lawn at White River State Park (Independence Day!)

I have to admit, the reason I bought tickets to this concert is because I thought it would be fun to get a group of people together and go downtown for the night. The plan seemed great-- good friends, go out for dinner, watch the concert, watch the fireworks on the canal. Things were a bit off-kilter-- traffic was killer, parking was crazy, and we got down there too late to get food. I was cranky, and standing in line for the concert was too hot, but we got good seats and ate food in the venue. Paying concert venue prices for food is better than starving, but still not fun. Our seats were in a great position on the right side of the stage. That is until the sun started setting and shining straight in our faces. Other than the heat and the sunshine (which I will hardly complain about, really), the venue was great.

The opening act for the show shall remain nameless, mostly because I don't remember his name, but also because we spent most of the set condemning his boring hard rock strumming and unnecessarily dirty distortion. At one point, too, he stopped to tune his guitar and actually made it more out of tune. We tried to find good things...really we did. There were some melodies that were actually quite interesting, and some of his chords progressions were fresh, but generally his music sounded pretty generic (i.e. Nickelback). His style of music was just nothing that any of us were interested in. There were quite a few fans, though, that cheered for him, so I was glad that he got some lovin' from the crowd. His drummer was really awesome, and the drums also sounded crisp and full (which would unfortunately change when the mainstage act came out).

Florence and the Machine came out after a quick stage change-- a beautiful tapestry of a bird was dropped and the smoke machine turned on while the majority of the musicians (minus Flo herself) came out to start playing. I loved seeing a harp player and was looking forward to hearing some of those Florence and the Machine rhythms played on properly-microphoned drums. The concert began as most do-- with a building intro to a familiar song. Then, Florence makes her way to the front of the stage, flitting around in a...yellow sheer dress with wings?
Florence Welch performs with her indie pop band Florence and the Machine at the Lawn at White River State Park on Monday, July 4, 2011. Since she was discovered singing in a pub in London, Welch has earned worldwide mainstream recognition. Olivia Corya/ The Star

She looked a bit like a lost canary, but her singing voice was one of a sorrowful warbler, lilting but strongly confident. After her first song, Florence offered a welcome in her delicate London-accented speaking voice, in contrast to her singing voice. Although the power of the drums was lost and you couldn't even really hear the keys, the music was fun. Some musical highlights of the night included familiar songs like "Cosmic Love," "Dog Days Are Over," and "Between Two Lungs." Between songs, Florence gently and politely called for a drink and explained that her mother is American, which means she would be proud that Florence was spending July 4th in the US. After that chat, the drummer started a marching beat, and I thought for sure she was going to sing "America the Beautiful" or some patriotic hymn, but instead she broke out in "Amazing Grace." Wait, isn't that song written by a British guy...?

Other highlights for our group in particular that night were finally eating food, singing a refrain of what sounded like "Praise the Lord," (actually singing "Raise it up"), watching and imitating the girls in front of us as they danced to the beat of their own drum all night long, switching seats to relieve one another from the sun's rays, and finally sitting on the cool canal to watch the fireworks. We weren't all super familiar with the music of Florence and the Machine coming into the show, but we enjoyed the choruses we could sing and dance with. There were plenty of people there who knew every word and danced like they were getting paid to inspire. We had a blast even though most of our laughs came from the ridiculousness of the whole night, but having fun was the goal, so I call the night a success. Concert itself gets 2.75 out of 5.

The day after the concert, I left to hang out with my family for vacation in Georgia. On said trip, I drank some good beer with my dad, got stung by a jellyfish, had the freshest shrimp I have ever tasted, laid in the sun too long, played a reggae version of a Blink 182 song with my brother, and dined and danced a jig in the streets of Savannah to celebrate my birthday. All in all, it was a great trip, despite having to get up at 3am to head back to Indy. See my past post about my airport experiences on that trip.

Tune in later this week for my experiences with the Fleet Foxes at the Pageant Theater in St. Louis, Bon Iver at the Murat Theatre in Indy, and maybe a few more special shows after that! :)


  1. do I? thank you for reading! i really enjoy writing.