Day 4 of Caprices Festival in Crans-Montana, Switzerland was somewhat about expectations and culture… my own expectations about performances proved incorrect (good and bad) and I’m beginning to get a better sense of how culture in Switzerland intersects musical tastes and preferences. Björk’s fans filled The Moon stage – which is massive – as much as any other artist here at Caprices thus far, and while she was one of the artists I most looked forward to seeing, I guess I just didn’t quite get her music and her set overall. The Weeknd followed, and while they didn’t retain the Björk fans, in my mind at least The Weekend saved the weekday (with Day 4 falling on a Monday), as I thought they were fantastic. But I guess that’s the thing about music – nothing is quite as subjective and to each person’s own taste… as music.
Having seen Florence + The Machine at the Mondavi Center back in April – which still remains as one of the best (of many, many) concerts I’ve been to this year, I was committed as I walked out of that venue that I would see them again soon, hopefully before the close of the year. That dream became a reality last night at the historic Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. It was one of those circumstances in which you feel that you’ve already seen the best possible concert for a particular artist, and wonder if it is a good idea to see them again when it would be impossible to measure up to the experience that you already had. Somehow, Florence + The Machine defied all of my expectations and put on a somewhat different show, but one that at least measured up to the first experience I had seeing them months ago. They are an unbelievable band, and the most fascinating thing is that listening to the studio albums, you couldn’t know how amazing that it all translates into live music. I already gave them my highest recommendation in my first review. Whatever you might think of their music, whatever preconceived notions you may have about the live experience, I can’t imagine someone seeing this band live and not being blown away. Even one of the venue staffers I was talking with before the show was won over by them with their first of two performances at the Hollywood Bowl the night before – and let’s just say he’s not someone you would guess is a Florence + The Machine fan by any stretch of the imagination – and even he thought that they were one of the best bands he’s ever seen, and he’s in the business of working tons of shows every year. They are that fantastic, and in my opinion, one of the very top acts touring today.