MELT Festival - the Fan Club perspective
It has been just over a month since we attended the vibrant, other-worldly Melt Festival in Germany. Whilst the whole festival was amazing, we are obviously still reeling from the performance delivered by a certain red-haired sorceress – Florence + the Machine.
Our day started with the very easy commute to Ferropolis from our rented flat in nearby Dessau. Of course, we blasted songs from all her albums whilst loudly chanting to them, so that passers-by knew we were unmistakably on our way to see Florence + the Machine. In true hardcore Florence + the Machine fan fashion, we decided to wait at the front row of the main stage from the opening time until the end of their set. The eight hour wait, in which we also witnessed some other incredible acts, was whole-heartedly worth it.
The first act was ‘The Internet’, and since the day I have been listening to their music, as I’m sure other attendees have been too. Then came a band called ‘Superorganism’, and they gave one of the most captivating and strangest concerts I've ever seen. Three members came onstage with bells in raincoats on a very hot summers day. Their lead singer had one of the largest personalities I've ever seen, and I have since bought their new album. We then saw an Austrian act called ‘Yung Hurn’, and although I could not understand the German he was rapping in, it was clear to see he was loved as the crowd was wild. I have been intrigued since I saw him and have been watching his great music videos. Then came the rap artist ‘Tyler, The Creator’, delivering another amazing performance. He stood onstage alone with no band, and just a very bright screen behind him which was all he needed. The crowd loved him and for good reason. After Tyler, we knew what was coming next. Florence + the Machine’s crew began to bring out her set. The brand new pink drum set, Rob’s new era guitars, and Isa’s infamous keyboard which she can just about see over. With Flo’s microphone-stand stood tall at the front, if the crowd didn’t know already, the set made it obvious who was coming next.
After the long wait, the band walked out to the explosion of enthusiastic cheering,, and opened with a fan-favourite: ‘Between Two Lungs’, perhaps due to the fact their debut album ‘Lungs’ was released 10 years ago this year. Whilst a great opener, the previous ‘What The Water Gave Me’ seemed to be sorely missed by many fans, as the energy really did set you up for the rest of the gig. This was followed by the massive song ‘Queen Of Peace’, and any Florence fan reading knows the pure energy that comes with this song. After a few more
songs, she played the lead single from the new album ‘High As Hope’ called ‘Hunger’. The live energy was palpable, with a hard hitting opening line, and it was amazing to hear the crowd chanting ‘WE ALL HAVE A HUNGER’. ‘Hunger’ was followed by a few more songs that are now classics in the setlist, then another new song ‘Patricia’ was played; a love song for Patti Smith, where Florence confesses her love for the artist over a constant driving drum beat. “I drink too much coffee and think of you often”; perhaps many Flows can relate to this statement, if the crowd is anything to go by. 'Patricia' was followed by 100 Years, another new song, which has an epic mid-interlude, where Flo shows off her dance moves she had been practicing throughout the hiatus. After the classic 'Ship To Wreck', she chanted the most epic break-up song ever written, ‘What Kind of Man’, and jumped down into the audience, where of course everyone in the crowd wanted to touch Flo or just be close to her. Luckily, perhaps due to the energy our part of the crowd was exuding, she ran to us and practically put her entire body into the crowd to give and take in energy. My friend Dominic was lucky enough to be chosen by Florence as the infamous ‘man’ during the song; a moment where Florence touches heads with a man in the audience and aggressively sings to him.
She stayed in the crowd for 'Delilah', and held onto fans to help her walk along the front row, then darted onstage again to sing her arguably best-known song ‘You've Got The Love’, a cover of Candi Staton. Her encore was 'Big God', of which you can find a live stream on our Facebook page. It was the second time it had ever been performed live and the fans were very keen to hear it. We were amazed that Florence actually sang gurgling outro; the part we refer to as ‘The Grudge Part’ of the song. She finished the concert with Shake It Out, a fan favourite where everyone lets go of their troubles and joins the communal exorcism of fear, pain and regret. It is fair to say that everyone who attended Florence + the Machine’s set thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It’s rare to see even the crowd at the back so engaged with the music and the performance, but Florence and her band have the ability to command a stage with such grace and assertiveness, that it’s hard to not get involved. Being one of the few concerts the band have done in 2018, it was this performance that truly marked the band’s return.
We are excited to see what their tours will bring us. We want to take this opportunity to thank Melt Festival for being so accommodating to us, and taking us seriously even though we are a fan-run site. We loved having the opportunity to attend Melt Festival as press, and we greatly appreciate it. Melt Festival as a whole is amazing and brings so many people, from all backgrounds and tastes of music, together. The campsite atmosphere electric, and on-par with the likes of Glastonbury without the mud and claustrophobia. We're even thinking of attending next year, even if Florence + the Machine aren't playing!
Thank you all for reading.
Charlotte (FATM Fan Club Admin)