The arena slowly begins to fill prior to the 7:30 kick off, the crowd is a healthy mix of old and young proving that Florence and the Machine’s music appeals to no set age bracket, their music is not unlimited by gender or race but defined by taste and passion.
The support act for Florence and the Machine was King Princess – Mikaela Straus a song writer and multi-instrumentalist from Brooklyn, New York. There were quite a few of King Princess faithful in the audience eager to hear hits from the platinum EP “Make my Bed” and King Princess did not disappoint.
It was a well-executed delivery of engagement, the songs melted seamlessly through the set, one after the other carrying the arena on a rollercoaster of emotive bliss – “Cursed” (off the Hold on baby album) was widely received, the fans lots their minds for “Pussy is God”. The stairwells to the seated area were at capacity when both “The Bend” and “Talia” where played, people were dancing in every square inch that was available.
“Let us die” was the peak of the show for me, it is a raw, a song that so many people can relate to. It was a huge crowd favourite, the near capacity cohort were singing in fine pitch whilst showing their appreciation for the talent that King Princess has. The heart felt dialogue with the crowd and the genuine appreciation of the moment cemented a perfect set for me – you can see why “King Princess” has wide spread critical acclaim.
Florence and the Machine
It had been 4 years since the “Florence and the Machine” had been back to Australian shores, fans had been starved for the human touch of their amazing music they had been kept at bay by their fifth studio album, but they needed to be fed. “The Dance Fever Tour” was delivered to subside their hunger.
Florence came out of the gate firing, energy exploding out of her body, her powerful vocals coupled with her beautiful smile and stunning lilac lace dress – she was a sight to behold. Her sincerity and authenticity to being able to perform again in Australia infected everyone – smiles and elation flowed all over the crowd filled every available space.
Florence and the Machine have such an extensive multi-platinum back catalogue of hits, there was no way that they were all going to be squeezed into this setlist (5 studio albums, 3 live albums, 24 singles and 33 music videos) no chance at all.
Throughout the performance Florence pleaded with the fans to put their phones away and be “in the moment” to truly experience the music, it was refreshing to see the loyal respond in kind and attain another level of musical spirituality. Florence joked and laughed with the fans, likening the devotion shared to that of a “Cult” – “make sure you do as I say” she cheekily remarked “and enjoy the music”.
A heartfelt dedication was made mid set to her late and dear friend “Steve Mackey” the co-producer of “King with a fist” mid 2008, the importance of Steve’s influence bubbled over for a brief moment making it a sombre point of reference – this highlighted the raw importance of their music.
The event camera staff had their work cut out for them as Florence danced and darted across the stage, constantly interacting with her fans that had travelled far and wide to see “Florence and the Machine”. At one point of the performance Florence leapt into the crowd and ran the full length of the area floor, greeting, cheering, and embracing the fans – accepting them as part of her lyrical family. A moment I know that those affected will never forget.
The stand out songs for me were – Dog days are Over, Big God, What kind of Man, You Got the Love (my favourite), Kiss with a Fist, My Love and Shake it Out”. From start to finish is was on point and it never strayed from being a powerful, uplifting, surreal and technically superior performance.
If you are lucky enough to be anywhere near the tour locations and dates go and see this tour – you will be better for it!. The music is pure and gives you a real appreciation on just how powerful music can be.
Images by Duncan Barnes
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