Day 3: Florence and the Machine, Deftness and St. Paul + the Broken Bones
written + photographed by Lexi Scott
Music is the foundation of all we hold dear. It takes us back to a memory, it gives us escape, it makes us happy and makes us feel understood. Today was the last day of the Shaky Knees Festival and they really did save the best for last: St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Deftness, and Florence + the Machine. Overall this was three incredible days of dancing, eating, exploring, and experiencing music together. Thanks to all the musical artists that met with me to talk about music and passion and to the bands that performed that put on an incredible show!
St. Paul and the Broken Bones
The show began with a groovy instrumental intro from the bluesy band—then out walked St. Paul himself in a simple suit and bedazzled shoes. Within the first few songs there was so much attitude strutting across that stage as Paul uttered statements like “you ain’t seen half of that shit yet” and “take it to church” with such self-assurance in his Old Southern Alabama accent. Paul’s powerful vocals, both speaking and singing, traveled farther than you would expect, but it was like you wanted him to be that loud; you wanted to feel the soul behind each lyric as if it were your own. Even if most of the people who gathered didn’t know who the band was, they were most definitely head bopping and getting into the groove of the soulful band as they played on.
For lunch I can safely say I saved the best for last! I have never had anything like a roti roll but I am definitely glad I stepped out of my comfort zone for this one. Roti rolls are described as “pillowy pockets of love stuffed with local goodness” according to the sheet of paper taped to the side of the food truck, and this is an accurate description. I was a little hesitant at first just looking at the name and feeling the spices begin to burn my mouth from the get go, but honestly they were the perfect amount of spice for me to actually enjoy all of the flavors!
Wild, crazy, they’re that band that looks like they still play in their mom’s basement, but you still love to rock out to. What else can I say about Deftness other than they exist as a band to simply have a good time rocking out together. Both the band and the fans loved every minute of the performance, reciprocating equal amounts of energy. Apart from the passionate screaming, the more melodic tunes from the band showcased lead vocalist Chino Moreno’s wide range of talents—whose voice is surprisingly soothing.
Florence + the Machine
Florence Welch is a free spirit who writes lyrics you cant help but feel resonate. Her songs span various genres that have become known as the “classic Florence sound”, and as she walks out barefoot in a flowy, fluorescent yellowish dress, the crowd goes insane! There were more mellowed moments when it seemed as if she were in a meditative place and moments of pure bliss as she twirled and leapt across the stage. Welch performed classics like “Dog Days Are Over” and a stripped version of “Cosmic Love” that drove the audience to silence as they listened, captivated by her effortless vocals. Welch’s performance of “Cosmic Love” was honestly my favorite, because I got to experience her voice as it is; completely raw and unedited. She is fearless up on that stage, captivating—a mythical creature almost—and most importantly she loves to connect with her fans. Welch’s music is just as much for the fans as it is for her and her live performances emulate that.