Jun 18, 2011

Florence and The Machine - Live at Abbey Pub/Aragon Ballroom on 6/18/11

Before photo: 2pm pre-Aragon Ballroom show photo of Florence performing a three song "Live at Studio X" set at The Abbey Pub in Chicago.

After photo: Taken by fan during Aragon Ballroom show (posted to Aragon's website):

Are you wondering how I got so lucky to see Florence at such an intimate grungy venue (no offense Abbey Pub)? I owe it all to Jennifer (see Lady Gaga blog entry for video of Jennifer and accolades galore). She has good connections and since I twisted her arm along with her husband Steve to pay 3 x retail for broker tickets to the Aragon show three months prior, she decided it was in all of our best interest to try to see FATM in an alternative arrangement if at all possible. This turned out to be the compromise. Two tickets were later sold to the Aragon show (at a reduced rate) and I used the remaining tickets to go to the later Aragon show (because three songs was not enough) with our family sitter, Andrea. A win-win for all concerned. Thanks again Jennifer for extending the invitation and most of all, for your friendship...

Needless to say, the shows were completely different animals.

Florence singing Cosmic Love for approximately 100 adoring fans at the Abbey Pub:

Florence singing Dog Days are Over:

Flo was interviewed after her three song set by Marty Lennartz who has been with WXRT for nearly thirty years. He is currently their "Creative Assistant to Programming." The awkward moment during this interview was when Marty referenced Stevie Nicks as being a major influence for many female vocalists. He asked Flo if she was also influenced by her. It was not clear to me that she was even a fan let alone "influenced" by her...

Florence looked gorgeous on stage at the Aragon wearing an emerald green dress with transparent cape that allowed her to create a butterfly/fairy effect while leaping and whirling across the stage (barefooted of course!).

Video of a new FATM song borrowed from the Aragon Facebook wall:

Video here from another fan via You Tube:

More footage from closer up (jittery though) from another fan on You Tube:

The Abbey Pub has good bar food from burgers to hummus and they make a decent bloody Mary. My husband said the beer selection was interesting and even included a Czech beer. Similar to Schuba's, you can eat and see a show all in one. It is hard to rate the sound because the sound guy likely did not adequately anticipate Florence's booming vocals. She was loud and clear while singing and less so while speaking. She came across as somewhat shy in the intimate setting. On the up side, she came across as very approachable (unlike someone in the diva category). In contrast, the show at the Aragon (never great acoustics at the Aragon given the immense ceiling height) was very bold, powerful, and exciting. Their was no outward sign of timidity or shyness. She really flourishes on stage with a sold out show. Although we stood towards the back of the floor, the lighting and Florence's energy were incredible. She was running and twirling on stage using her sheer cape to accentuate the green color through use of the fantastic lighting. The show was great, however far back and sweaty I was. The Aragon is a cool historic place - everyone should see at least one show in this fairy castle.

Both shows get a 5 out of 5 guitar rating. How could they not? As for venue, I am partial to small venues and would almost rather see anyone at a place like the Abbey Pub given the choice. "Live at Studio X" clearly trumps a big venue any day. There is also the big bonus of NO SHOVING or PUSHING or SWEATING or STANDING ON TIP TOES TO SEE OVER/AROUND THE TALL GUY (I could go on...).

1 comment:

  1. Despite the plethora of tall people at the show, I feel the place was small enough that we could still get a good view all the way in the back. Excited for your interview to load!