Gig review: Florence + The Machine at Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield

Florence Welch. Picture: Tom Beard
Florence Welch. Picture: Tom Beard
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At times she is joyously sprinting around the Motorpoint Arena like a barefooted Usain Bolt.

At other times she is conducting the audience like her own personal choir or instructing them to hug whoever is stood next to them.

Then there is the time she has them swinging items of clothing above their heads in the unlikeliest game of strip poker you will ever see.

But at all times Florence Welch, undoubtedly, has the entranced Sheffield crowd in the palm of her hand. Simply captivated.

It is easy to understand why. What a performance. An artist at the height of her powers. So much energy and charisma, Stevie Nicks meets Kate Bush, with her ceaseless bounding around the stage yet all the time delivering so many hits pitch perfect.

From the moment she launches into her opener What the Water Gave Me, the pace is set and it is unrelenting. Ship to Wreck follows, then Shake It Out.

There is anthemic classics like Raise It Up with the jumping crowd now in festival mode. You expect giant flags to suddenly emerge.

A stripped-down You’ve Got The Love is hauntingly beautiful while How Big How Blue How Beautiful is a nod to her latest work that prices the well is certainly not dry.

What a riotous display. And that’s even before Dog Days Are Over rounds off the main set list in typically ebullient mood. Sheer quality.