Florence Welch looked a little out of place on stage at Mohegan Sun Friday, but it wasn’t the venue so much as the era: the titular head of Florence & the Machine has the eternal air of someone who exists in a time all her own.
Welch and her eight-piece band swept through 70 minutes of songs from their two albums, emphasizing tunes from last year’s “Ceremonials.” Their music is ornate and dramatic, with quiet passages giving way to lush crescendos swelling beneath Welch’s voice.
She appeared first in silhouette behind an art deco-style screen on a platform at the back of the stage, then drifted down a staircase to the microphone. With her red hair worn up, and clad in a flowing cape ruffled by the breeze from fans positioned on either side of her, she sometimes resembled a Victorian ghost. The effect carried over to her singing, though she could dispel it in an instant, shifting from breathy, gossamer tones to full-throated power on “Cosmic Love” and raising her voice above intertwining backing harmonies over a propulsive beat on “All This and Heaven Too.”
If she seemed shy to start, Welch shed her demure restraint as the show went on, skipping from one side of the stage to the other on “Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)” and projecting her voice to the rafters on “Spectrum,” a fluid cascade of harp at the start yielding to a wash of drums and keyboards.
Welch conducted the crowd in singing the wordless vocals on the soaring, melodic “Heartlines,” though the audience needed no encouragement to help out on the atmospheric “Shake It Out” or “Dog Days Are Over,” the epic breakthrough single from 2008 that established Florence & the Machine as a potent new musical force.
That was the last song of the main set, though she and the band returned to perform “Never Let Me Go” and “No Light, No Light,” for an encore.
Blood Orange, a new one-man project from Lightspeed Champion leader (and Florence & the Machine collaborator) Devonté Hynes, opened the show.
Florence & the Machine’s set list, via Spotify: