By the time Florence Welch tore off her blouse and skipped barefoot into the adoring crowd at the Voodoo Music + Art Experience’s Altar stage, she had yet again reiterated why her powerful, playful, dramatic performances continue to be festival gold.
Florence + The Machine’s headlining set on Friday (Oct. 30) jibed perfectly with Halloween eve in New Orleans. In a skull-and-stitches makeup straight out of The Nightmare Before Christmas and a satiny pink suit, Welch showcased her soaring, soulful pipes on newer fare like “Ship To Wreck” and the title track to the band’s summer album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, as well as crowd favorites like “Dog Days Are Over” and “Shake It Out.”
Hitting notes that reach right into your soul, communing multiple times with the crowd and inciting sing-alongs, Welch was magnetic. Barefoot, she bounded across the stage singing with the ease of someone completely in her element. And eventually she even crumpled to the ground, thrashing, Halloween makeup ecstatically smeared, fully in the moment.
“Voodoo, you have been blessed,” she shouted after a particularly cathartic passage.
Florence + The Machine has enthralled many festival audiences this year (see their storm-beating Lollapalooza headlining spot). But on Friday night, the group made it special for the crowd in New Orleans’ City Park.