Florence Welch Finds Her Voice in Vancouver

Singer recovered from vocal cord injury, Florence and the Machine kick off their North American tour

July 21, 2012 11:10 AM ET
Florence Welch
Neil Lupin/Redferns via Getty Images

Nine days after Florence Welch tweeted that she "sustained a vocal injury" and "cannot sing for a week," fans of Florence and the Machine were right to be concerned about a potential cancellation of her North American tour, kicking off on July 20th in Vancouver, British Columbia. Following a full week of eerie silence, Welch briefly returned to the spotlight by steamrolling her way through one song – "Spectrum" – on Good Morning America on July 19th. Whether or not she could vocally carry an entire concert, however, remained to be seen.

On game day, Welch spoke very little for the first few songs, opening with a slightly restrained "Only If For a Night," then moving immediately into "What The Water Gave Me." In fact, the first few numbers of her performance felt like the equivalent of a freshly-injured Olympic athlete running at about 80% of their speed. After almost 45 minutes worth of music, however, Welch finally shook the trunk of the elephant in the room. "It’s wonderful to be up here, because I lost my voice for a while, and it seems like it’s back," she beamed, as the audience broke into cheers. "This song seems quite fitting because, well, it seemed to suit last week a bit, when I lost my voice. Dark times . . . but it’s all better now!"

The band then launched into "Breaking Down," and any remaining stiffness fell from Welch’s shoulders as she firmly nailed the number. The remainder of their 90-minute set certainly had moments where Welch seemed to favor the lower octaves over the high notes, but – with a merciless string of North American and European tour dates ahead of her – erring slightly on the side of caution just may keep the laryngologist at bay for the remainder of the Ceremonials tour, currently scheduled through December of this year.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »