Florence and The Machine and why it matters today.

By Danié Gómez-Ortigoza

June 6, 2020

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People used to be able to unite under one voice: the world would tune in, and the masses would sing together led by the music and life philosophy of the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Prince, the Rolling Stones or Madonna.

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But somewhere along the way, things evolved: technology gave access to more and more voices. It demystified the ideal of the all-mighty super-star, showcasing that they too, were human, and eventually led to an open-market accessible to all, divided in hundreds of niches.

Some might think it was the emergence of a world of possibilities, others would argue that it was the beginning of the end, triggering social division. Whatever it was, the last super-star is dead, even if some of them are still alive.

I think I’ve seen all the greatest music concerts, taking into account my geographical and generational barriers: MJ, Coldplay, U2, Madonna, Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga, The Killers, Elton John, Celine Dion, Lorde, Kathy Perry, Taylor Swift… and yet none of them has made me feel the sense of inner-peace, and hunger to create that Florence and The Machine did. Perhaps it was because Florence Welch asked us to put our phone down, and instead hug a random stranger, (which under her spell, everyone around me did).

Whatever it was, I know that every person in that room felt it. No need for a million outfits, changes of scenery, lights or projections. Her mere presence and her voice was all we got, and we didn’t need anything else, which was astonishingly refreshing in a world where more is more.

It was interesting to contrast it with Taylor Swift’s concert, where I experienced a level of production I had never seen before: inflatables, projections, 3D mapping, a million outfits, dancers and everything in between without making me feel for one second, what the honest voice and simplicity of Florence’s show did. It made me think of the difference between the real that connects, vs the fake that entertains.

I’m not undermining the fantastic productions of the rest of the musicians I mentioned before. I do understand that they have a different style of doing things that is totally acceptable and admirable, but I think that the more possibilities that technology opens to us, the more we realize that nothing can surpass the power of a genuine message. And for a genuine message to exist, we all need time. And silence.

The never-ending hunger for newness could become the greatest threat to creativity and ideas. In the instagram world, it often seems you are only as good as your last post, and that only lasts 24 hours. We created that cycle, and it will be in us to break free of it, for the sake of the quality of the work that we create.

So in an age of abundance, we must offer connection, meaning and a place where we can be our best selves above anything else. All the rest, including magnificent pictures or jaw-dropping productions, will only be temporary and will dissolve in the world of the forgotten. We must create new art.