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Florence and The Machine at The Santa Barbara Bowl

Florence and The Machine blew away another audience on Oct. 20, 2015 at the Santa Barbara Bowl, a 4,562-seat amphitheater located in Santa Barbara, California. They opened the show with one of their more popular songs from their “Ceremonials” album: “What the Water Gave Me.” It is no surprise that they have an incredible track record, but ever since “Ceremonials,” they did not put out a new album for a few years until this past June with “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.” The long awaited return of Florence and The Machine was met with supportive and excited fans.

Traffic was hectic on North Milpas street, which led to the Santa Barbara Bowl. Once past security, the steep but quick walk up the hill and small staircase opened up to a dark stadium with seats from left and right, and a general admission floor where most of the dancing happened.

One song that got the crowd excited was “Rabbit Heart” from their “Lungs” album. Amidst high-energy dancing, Florence jumped off the stage, continuing to sing as she ran through the crowd. She even began dancing in front of the crowd before running back to the stage with a security guard right behind her for added protection from the fans. One of her all-loving moments was when she asked the audience to put away their phones and electronics for a moment of pure, emotional, and heartfelt singing. The song of her choice was “Third Eye,” off of their recent album. Florence began her song by telling the audience to take a moment to acknowledge his or her neighbor, to express their love and happiness. No sooner did the band and vocalists begin their inspirational and upbeat song when families and friends embraced each other, swaying to the powerful vocals that Florence entertained them with.

Another song that got the crowd on their feet and dancing was “Delilah,” which is also from their recent album. The people in the crowd quickened their pace to match the tempo of the band, their energy clearly feeding the energies of Florence and the rest of the performers, which resulted in Florence showcasing her famous turns.

Coming to the end of their show, The Machine played a beautiful, live rendition of the album-titled song “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful,” followed by some of their bigger hits such as “Cosmic Love,” “Shake It Out,” and “Dog Days Are Over.” To the happiness of the loving crowd, Florence and The Machine played a rousing five-song encore before finally calling it a night. 

They played a very successful show in Santa Barbara and are currently continuing their tour with shows scheduled in places like New Orleans, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, Germany, Italy and many more. Needless to say, Florence and The Machine is truly a force to be reckoned with. 


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Luis Lugo

UC Irvine

Luis is a 4th year at UC Irvine, majoring in Lit. Journalism and minoring in Film and Media Studies. His main interests and hobbies include dance in styles such as ballet, jazz, and hip hop as well as horror movies, dogs, burgers, yoga, tea, and roller coasters !
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