At a pre-album release show in Los Angeles, Florence + The Machine previewed four new tracks off their latest album High as Hope, due out on June 29. At the intimate show at the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, the band played singles “Sky Full of Song” and “Hunger,” in addition to two previously unheard songs.
Lead singer Florence Welch utilized the entirety of the flower-covered stage to reach out to fans throughout the 2,200-capacity concert hall. Barefoot and extended to the tips of her toes, Welch began the show with “Between Two Lungs” from her debut album, Lungs. Welch encouraged the composed audience to get on their feet as she danced her way through “Queen of Peace” and “Only If for a Night” prior to introducing the new material.
On the cusp of singing second single “Hunger,” Welch described her mixed feelings about releasing such an emotional song.
“The fact that I didn’t want to put it into a song meant that it should go into a song. I had no idea what would happen and I was scared,” Welch told the audience.
She added: “There is something about songs that you can put something that seems unsayable and painful and through other people hearing it and not only listening but singing it with you, it turns into joy. I don’t know how that happens. You do that. You did that.”
Welch followed “Hunger” with the first single from High as Hope, “Sky Full of Song,” quieting the audience that was shouting ‘I love you’ throughout the hall.
As Welch sang of friends and family calling her out for her outlandish behavior, the crowd remained subdued until the lines “In a city without seasons, it keeps raining in LA.”
The band played through breakout hit “Dog Days Are Over” and How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful track “Mother” before debuting new song “Patricia.”
“This is a song from the new album and it is about a woman who is very close to my heart. I don’t want to tell her about it in case she doesn’t like the song. So, nobody tell her,” Welch said before the song’s gliding harp intro.
The final new track of the night was “100 Years.”
“This is another new song I wrote. I wrote it two years ago in London and I’m English so it seemed to me maybe it was too earnest,” Welch said. “We’re a sarcastic people and it seemed somehow too earnest in its peace and love, but then it seemed like a time to be earnest. So I put it in a song.”
Florence + The Machine closed out the show with three songs from her previous album, including “Ship to Wreck,” “Delilah” and the foot-stomping “What Kind of Man.”
“Thank you so much to everyone who has been with us since Lungs,” Welch said. “It’s pretty much the same, I think. It’s just I’m less drunk and there is less glitter. I don’t know if that makes it worse. There’s the same amount of flowers all the way through. That has not changed. “
As the seven-piece band that features original keyboardist and fellow songwriter Isabella Summers remained surrounded by flowers arrangements sprouting from their instruments, Welch sprinted through the orchestra view seats and then the front orchestra to deliver the pivotal chorus of “Delilah” in the middle of a sea of outstretch arms.
New album High as Hope is out June 29 via Republic Records.