Florence Welch hit Lolla’s headline stage with bare feet, clad in a satin silver suit, her long reddish curls and graceful hands flowing with gusts of wind under darkening clouds. Before “What the Water Gave Me” was finished, she was dashing, jumping and twirling across the stage, apparently fully healed after suffering a broken foot last spring.
“One thing we didn’t bring was a choir” she apologized, “so would you be our choir.” She removed her jacket, revealing a loose, sheer blouse, and got her wish as the crowd sang all the “ooh whoas” in “Shake it Out.”
At moments, Welch’s vocals are ethereal, floating on the strings of a harp, the calm before the storm. Then she unleashes the fury in her voice and all hell breaks loose. She flew off the stage and down a long runway into the crowd for “Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up),” seizing the moment, the crowd energy and intense lightning above the Chicago skyline.
Long before her fans were ready to let her go, she said “The storm won,” and the set, already shortened by a weather evacuation earlier in the day, was about to end. But not before she took a final streak down the runway into the crowd, this time waving her blouse like a flag, as did Brandi Chastain in her famed sports bra victory lap following the USA Women’s World Cup Soccer win in 1999. All this during “Dog Days are Over,” a perfect song to close out Lollapalooza 2015.