Life in KC

The Big Show: Florence + the Machine at Providence Medical Center Amphitheater

Florence Welch creates vital recordings and refashions the material during her superlative live performances.
Florence Welch creates vital recordings and refashions the material during her superlative live performances. Courtesy of Sacks & Co.

Tuesday, May 24, at Providence Medical Center Amphitheater

The recent deaths of musical giants David Bowie and Prince are disheartening, but grieving music fans can take solace in the fact that larger-than-life rock stars still prowl stages around the world. While no one can ever replace Bowie or Prince, Florence Welch carries on their crucial legacies of creating vital recordings and refashioning the material during her superlative live performances.

Welch and her cohorts found commercial success and critical acclaim soon after banding together in London in 2007. Propelled by Welch’s soaring voice and three studio albums filled with stellar songs, the group has become a global powerhouse.

While the band draws on a range of styles, much of its material is based on classic American soul. Portions of “Delilah,” for instance, recall the Supremes hit “You Can’t Hurry Love.” Florence + the Machine supplant that song’s breezy innocence with alarming lyrics like “another drink just to pass the time, I can never say no.”

There will be no such thing as arriving fashionably late to Tuesday’s show. Grimes, a musician with a strong reputation among tastemakers, is the opening act. Canadian born Claire Elise Boucher brilliantly subverts conventional pop on her new album, “Art Angels.”

A few of Grimes’ inflexible admirers will make a show of leaving the amphitheater before Florence + the Machine’s turn as headliners. They’ll miss out on what’s likely to be one of the year’s most satisfying performances.

Tickets range from $19.65 to $59.50 in advance through providenceamp.com.

Concert previews by Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

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