If you don't know already, Central Park Summerstage is a large general admission outdoor arena surrounded on all sides by concession stands selling top-quality overpriced crap to consumers. While some services are "inspired" ("Come charge your dying electronic equipment in the AT&T Tent") to outright thievery ($7 for a warm dixie cup of cheap white wine) it's overall just one big shit show of Urban American consumerism. Having this insight about Central Park Summerstage, my friend and I decided to hang back from it until the very last possible minute, for as we all know with any concert, once you enter you cannot escape.
|Sorry, this is the best I could do.|
Once we finally did enter, we were immediately overwhelmed by the epic cues surrounding us from all sides. Want to use the port-a-potty? Better get in line and have a napkin handy. Want a wristband to consume alcohol? Better have your ID out and ready and get in line. Want to consume alcohol? Be ready to have your wallet emptied and get in line. Want to see the show? Well, there's a line for that too. All of the concert goers were nasal pitched cattle being herded left and right all around me. My friend and I abandoned all ventures for refreshments, and attempted to stake out a spot to enjoy the show from. This, it turned out was an impossible task.
The problem with any outdoor arena show is that the sound ends ABRUPTLY from about 100 feet from the stage. This doesn't normally bother me so much, because usually the people who paid good money to go to a concert SHUT THE FUCK UP and listen to the music as it is being performed in front of them. This was NOT the case at Florence + The Machine. From start to finish most of what I heard was mindless chattering of silly girls and slurred grunts from sweaty drunken oafs drowning out the ethereal notes of Ms. Welch. What's worse, the cacophonous din of idiocy would end the SECOND the song had ended in order for these neanderthals to let out some off key "WOO'S". Don't get me wrong, I like to enjoy a nice recreational conversation as much as the next broad, but at a concert, I try to keep those conversations BETWEEN songs. It got so bad, that I barely RECOGNIZED some of the songs Florence was singing! The only thing worse than that was that she chose to perform NEW songs I haven't even heard yet, and they were all swallowed whole by the sound of the crowd. At one point there was a weak crowd chant of "Louder, Louder" sung out, but, it fell upon deaf ears. What can they do? It's an outdoor show. There's only so many speakers.
Apparently, people paid $40 to talk, get drunk, and MAYBE hear "Dog Days are Over". If you were a genuine "Machinehead" (as I've taken to call true Flo fans) I guess you had to be at the gate at 5:30, have a wad of cash, wear a diaper, and pack a granola bar to eat for dinner in order to get up front to see and hear our red-headed goddess.
I'm sure Florence + The Machine's performance was stellar as always... if you were up front. In the dregs of the rear, the show was good, but hard to hear thanks to chatty Kathys and mumbling Michaels. While my belly was full of reasonably priced food and drink and I managed to have a good time with my friend, I couldn't help but think that my concert going days at Central Park Summerstage, are over.
Here's the Set list:
My Boy Builds Coffins
Strangeness & Charms
What Water Gave Me
You Got the Love
Dog Days are Over