On Friday, Florence Welch gave a private concert for an audience of one: a 15-year-old fan in Austin, Texas, who had been unable to attend Welch’s show the night before because she was too sick to leave her hospice room.
The girl’s mom, Catherine Chen, posted video from the performance on Instagram Friday night, writing, “@florence of #Florence&TheMachine is such a beautiful and kind soul!! She brought so much joy to all of us today. What a Blessing!!”
In a second post, a photo from her performance, Chen wrote, “@florence Of #florenceandthemachine Is not only an awesome artist but an even more amazing human being!! She made my sweet pea so happy today.”
Welch’s performance was full of “so much joyous music and singing and tears” – and a beautiful harmony, as the girl sang along. That’s according to Christie Kramer, a nurse practitioner at Hospice Austin, who shared the story of how Welch’s performance came together:
“We have a patient who held long cherished tickets to see Florence and The Machine last night with her BFF. All week through set back after set back she asked if she would be able to go.
“We tried to entertain the idea and it felt so scary and overwhelming for the medical staff and her mother that finally I said no, and my heart broke again.”
“And then,” Kramer continued, “through a remarkable team effort on the part of Christopher House and Hospice Austin Staff, we were able to make contact with Florence. My patient’s mom was so nervous — will she really come? Is she here yet? She kept popping out of the room and checking.
“And Florence came. And her mom burst into tears of joy at the sight of her and Florence gave her a big hug. ”
Welch, 29, performed for a room “stuffed to the gills with teen friends,” Kramer wrote. But she sang for one person.
In two clips from the performance, posted by Hospice Austin, Welch and the girl sing along to “Shake It Out” and “Dog Days Are Over” as Welch holds her hand, accompanied by guitarist Rob Ackroyd.
At one point Welch exclaims, “Such a good harmony!”
“There were shrieks and squeals and so much joyous music and singing and tears and tears and tears of grief and joy and hope and love and utter devastation,” Kramer wrote, “and somehow simple kindness made everything better.”