Florence + the Machine's Spellbinding Lollapalooza Set Shortened by Storm: Watch
Still, there was something beautiful about watching her perform beside the distant lightning of an approaching storm.
First it looked like Florence + the Machine would play a shortened set. Then, weather permitting, it looked like Welch would get to play her full hour and a half after all. But as the lightning show over the Chicago skyline intensified, the set came to a sudden close at 10 p.m. (CT) and fans headed for the exits. Still, Florence + the Machine squeezed in "Dog Days Are Over" to close out Lollapalooza 2015 in grand fashion.
Watch her perform "What Kind of Man" and "Dog Days Are Over" below:
Welch's headlining set on the Samsung Galaxy stage was prefaced by an ominous start to Lolla's final day. Around 2:30 p.m., the entire festival was evacuated over approaching hail and strong winds. But no inclement weather actually took place and 90 minutes later, the music began again. Stormy skies lingered throughout the day and as flickers of lightning got closer and closer throughout Welch's set, Lolla decided to pull the plug 30 minutes early.
But it was a masterful set. Florence and her band are well-accustomed to wowing sprawling swaths of festival onlookers, and as expected, the Chicago show was a slam dunk. Welch is a shaman, a sorcerer; she'll get possessed by the spirits and voices of her mystic lyrics and enter an otherworldly performance state where the safety of her mortal body means nothing. This is how she broke her leg at Coachella 2015's first weekend, but also how she toughed out another performance at its second. Crazed barefoot sprints across the stage during set opener "What the Water Gave Me" were only a prelude of things to come; she ventured almost a hundred yards out into the crowd during "Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)" and leaned into an adoring male fan's embrace -- within inches of kissing him -- during "What Kind of Man," both times with security trailing hopelessly behind.
"The storm has swelled and we've been asked to leave the stage," she confessed soon after, with the direness of destructive weather matching the fantastic direness of her entire stageshow (she'd already dedicated the storm-inspired "St. Jude" to bad weather following her). But the Machine was prepared to skip to the end and send the crowd home the way they hoped -- with a fist-raising gut-punch of "Dog Days Are Over" to close out the weekend.
Here's the set list from Florence's abridged performance:
What the Water Gave Me
Ship to Wreck
Shake It Out
Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)
What Kind of Man
Dog Days Are Over