There hasn’t been any shortage of popularity for past shows, and one night at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl wasn’t enough for Florence + The Machine this time around. Thankfully, a second show got added and with that, it was time for a midweek night outdoors.
So a particularly eager bunch got to see the dishevelling suave Jack Ladder and The Dreamlanders before the evening reached sundown cranking up the volume with a synth laden Come on Back This Way. Styling and those baritone notes were a little reminiscent of seeing Nick Cave, with an extra punchy bass coming through on Let Me Love You and an alluring To Keep & To Be Kept . Perhaps Ladder and the Dreamlanders were a little too alternative for this crowd, particularly with something has sharp and jaunty as Reputation Amputation came barging through but still a pretty receptive response from those paying attention.
As enigmatic as they were, they paled in comparison the might and glamour that came with Florence + The Machine, not only in sheer numbers but it was hard not to fault Florence herself. It started with gifting a few lucky members of the crowd with floral offerings before launching into What the Water Gave Me.
Then energy levels were clearly no issue whatsoever, putting the security team to the test with a marathon lap around the seated area and onto the lawn to perform while balancing on the barricade, not to mention dancing and twirling around on stage for a considerable portion of the set.
And in the era of being locked to screens, Florence kindly requested and successfully managing to get everyone to put down all their devices to live in the moment for the duration of Third Eye and embracing the critical issue of climate change via How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.
Shake it Out was a majestic glaze of glittery lights and voices in unison, received with shrieks from the crowd.
But then those vocal chords – impressive, unfaltering, and mammoth particularly compared to the elegant, dainty personality revealed between the music that couldn’t even be fathomed during something like a fiery What Kind of Man, and pumping out Spectrum.
Encouraging hugs, affection and declarations of love with everyone around (including strangers) was possibly pushing things a tad too far during Dog Days Are Over, but there were certainly a few willing participants removing items of clothing and holding them in the air while jumping around. After all, it seemed only fair to reciprocate the energy from the stage.
The encore in comparison was strangely subdued with Mother, compared to the larger than life presence that preceded it seemingly to prepare everyone for home time. But there was one last feat left in Drumming Song before it was really time to go.