Florence + The Machine at Viejas

 

To simply call Florence + The Machine’s performance unforgettable is an understatement.

Kicking off their “High as Hope” tour, the band brought to old fans and new fans alike a raw and riveting show, all at the Viejas Arena. The concert was opened by Kasami Washington and his crew, immersing the audience into the night with some soulful jazz. Between his songs, Washington shared some words of wisdom and encouraged people to see the beauty in diversity and the importance of culture. Washington said, “We do not tolerate our differences. We celebrate them.” Washington’s message aligned beautifully with the theme of Florence + The Machine’s tour, where they hoped their new music would inspire and invigorate listeners through a time of oppression and activism.

Watching Florence + the Machine perform is akin to watching art. Giving herself over to her music completely, Florence danced and twirled and pinned to the rhythm. At one point, she went into the crowd, and for a moment, disappeared. Not only was her music amazing, her feel was artistic and energetic. The flow of her dress and the wooden stage complimented the earthy and natural tone of her music wonderfully.

One of the highlights of the night, was when Florence herself encouraged each and everyone to turn and embrace one another. Whether it was a loved one or a stranger, everywhere, the arena instantly became filled with warmth and affection. There was so much love. Next, she asked for all cellphones to be turned off and put away. “This moment cannot be kept, but only remembered.” Miraculously, all the tiny screens and glowing lights disappeared, and the arena was filled with people who were wholly in the moment. 

That night, Florence + The Machine earned many new fans. Through her pure, yet powerful sound, Florence won over new fans and old fans all over again. Her ability to draw people, as well as create stories expressed in her music is a gift to behold. Since the lyrics are so truthful and genuine, her songs couldn’t help touching and bringing the audience together. As the band ended their set, applause filled the arena while the audience begged for an encore. Tiny, but beautiful camera flashlights filled the arena with the hope of just one more song. Returning to a wave of thundering approval, the group ended their concert with the songs “Big God” and “Shake It Out.” Overall, the entire experience was phenomenal.

Photos By: Veronica Yoo
Review By: Veronica Yoo

A Concert to Remember: Alejandra Guzman vs Gloria Trevi

On April 13, Mexican singers, Gloria Trevi and Alejandra Guzman, performed at their second to last concert of their tour together. Alejandra Guzman vs Gloria Trevi was a successful tour, and their concert in San Diego did not dissappoint. They came out with an enthusiastic vibe that had the audience screaming, laughing, dancing and singing along with them. Their outfits were stunning and would sparkle across the stage. They gave all they could at their performance and were amazing, but my experience at their concert wasn’t as great as it could have been.

First of the use of the big screens behind them were not used wisely. Gloria Trevi and Alejandra Guzman are obviously not to blame for this, since this was a fault of the technicians. The reason why I say the screens were not used effectively is because most of the time what spectators would see on screen were special effects, and not Trevi or Guzman. This made it difficult for the audience in the back high seats to enjoy the show at its full potential because all they could see was a human dancing on stage. Its no fun to pay to see a singer sing, when you can’t even distinguish if it is them. The goal of screens in concerts is not necessarily to create a fun background, but to better the experience of the audience by allowing them to see the performer. You need to make the audience feel connected, and up close to the performer, and the use of big screens plays a big part on this.

Another reason that diminished my experience at their concert was the behavior of some people in the audience. My friend and I, bought the tickets to the show knowing that we would be the youngest or if not part of the young people among their fans, since Trevi and Guzman began their careers during the late 80s. So, as we had predicted the day of the concert we were indeed some of the youngest people in the concert, which unfortunately became a conflict with our engagement in the concert. As a concert goer I have always been the person to stand up and dance and sing to the music, and I have never had any complains…. until now. As Guzman began to sing “Eternamente Bella”, my friends favorite song, we decided to get off our sits and start dancing and sing along. Well, apparently the older man behind us didn’t approve of our actions and thought it would be a great idea to softly scratch my friend in the back to tell him to sit down. I then intervened and told the man that it was concert and it was normal for people to stand up and dance. Apparently, the man had never been to a concert or was at a stage in his life where he didn’t care and had the guts to tell us to move seats. Obviously, we didn’t move because: 1) We paid for the seats we were at, 2) I was not going to go seat in someone else’s seats and then get in trouble for it. As we decided to ignore the man he continued to scratch my friends back. Finally, we sat down since my friend didn’t want to argue about the situation with the man. This left a sour taste to our mouths and killed our vibe for the night. And as much as we wanted to enjoy the show all we could do was wiggle in our chairs.

Due to my experience I will probably never go to a concert of theirs again, and not because of Trevi and Guzman because as I mentioned before they were amazing. But a third of their crowd are at an age where they think concerts are to go sit down at a stadium and look at a screen. I’m sorry, but If that is what your idea of going to a concert is, please do everyone a favor and stay at home and watch the concert through YouTube videos instead.