COLUMBIA, MD: Florence and the Machine perform at Merriweather Post Pavilion. September 19, 2012. ? Brandon Wu / for the Washington City Paper.

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Playing to what appeared to be a nearly capacity crowd at one of Merriweather’s last shows of the season, Florence and the Machine delivered an inconsistent performance last night that highlighted just how difficult it must be to pull off some of their songs in a live setting.

The band’s albums, in particular the recent Ceremonials, are so heavily layered and produced that live versions of the songs inevitably sound somewhat stripped-down. Given frontwoman Florence Welch‘s rather incredible voice, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but last night, the pieces didn’t quite fall into place. Almost all of the songs sounded less powerful live compared to their studio counterparts. One can only hope that it was an off night rather than a sign that the band hasn’t yet discovered the best way to translate its songs into a memorable live act.

Full slideshow here.