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.