LIVE REVIEW: Florence + the Machine – Sydney Entertainment Centre, May 24th
Florence + the Machine at the Sydney Entertainment Centre [photo taken by me]
There are some performers that you can trust to put on a brilliant show, even if you’re not too fond of their more recent material. Florence Welch is one of those performers, and that is why I had no problem with lining up outside the Sydney Entertainment Centre in order to secure a place in the front row at her sold out show last Thursday.
Support act Blood Orange [aka Dev Hynes, aka Lightspeed Champion] had an interesting solo set-up, with a computer/synth/guitar combo that simply didn’t quite work. I don’t know who performed the soundcheck there [or if there even was one], but something was not right. With the vocals, synth and computer tracks coming through the PA speaker system, whenever Dev picked up his electric guitar, those of us towards the front were deafened by his amp. This made it very difficult to discern whether or not the music was any good. Add to this the projector screen featuring some not-so-kid-friendly images, and you can understand why I wasn’t too impressed with his performance at this all-ages show.
Thankfully the set-up for the Machine was significantly better, without any obvious sound issues. Wearing a cape and velvet catsuit combination, Florence had the audience captivated from the second she emerged down the steps at the back of the stage during “Only For a Night”, until the final farewell of “No Light, No Light”. Playing a combination of tracks from Lungs and Ceremonials, there were a few notable omissions: “Drumming Song”, in particular was missed, especially as there was a drum on stage that was not unlike the ones used for “Drumming Song” many times before. That drum ended up being used at the start of “No Light, No Light”, but it simply wasn’t the same.
“This is the first time we’ve had a stage invasion from a minor!” announced Florence, when a young fan named Emily followed her onto the stage [security weren’t going to tackle a child]. The crowd were friendly enough, jumping and dancing whenever Flo encouraged us to. “Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)” and “Dog Days are Over” in particular had people on their feet.
While it was disappointing not to hear “Hurricane Drunk” or “Kiss With a Fist”, I’d be lying if I said that Florence + the Machine’s show was anything less than brilliant. If Florence is able to maintain the energy with which she performs [and stops drifting towards “ethereal”], then she’ll continue to put on amazing live shows that I would recommend to anyone and everyone.
+ I’d just like to give a quick shout out to the guys who drove down from Newcastle at 4am to line-up for the show. That shows serious dedication, and they deserved their prime position at the centre of the front row.
+ The staff at the SEC were all incredibly friendly and helpful – from the security guard who told us where to line up, to the ushers inside, who, well, also told us where to line up. It’s rare to see venue staff who are actually pleasant – let alone actually helpful.
+ Overheard in the mosh pit: “When I went to your historical badasses party dressed as Jesus…”
+ Happy 21st birthday Chloe!