Live Review: Florence + The Machine - Burswood Dome

23 May 2012 | 12:37 pm | Aarom Wilson

More Florence & The Machine More Florence & The Machine

It was a diverse crowd that began filling the Dome early on, to say the least. From 15-year-old soon-to-be-hipsters to cheese-clothed forty somethings, it was with some surprise that Blood Orange received such a rousing response after the first song. No doubt an unknown entity to most there, Lightspeed Champion aka Devonté Hynes' fresh project saw him commanding the audience's attention by inviting them into his bedroom via Champagne Coast's lyrics. It was easy to see why he was ranked #20 on NME's Cool List a few years back though, his guitar prowess and effortlessly cool demeanor providing some consolation for Prince skipping the west coast. The cutesy chorus and noodling of Forget It was a standout in a support set that was let down by some poorly mixed, albeit impressively executed, guitar shredding and a lack of communication to the slightly confused crowd as to why he was there supporting Flo'; the friends are planning an album together. In the meantime, his Coastal Grooves full-length is well worth wrapping your ears around.

After a break that was insufficient to beat the drinks line, Florence + The Machine filled the stage with back-up singers, a keyboardist, drummers, guitarist, harpist and one radiant Florence Welch. With her cape billowing out like a vocal supervixen, Welch was there to fight rock banality, her energy, stance and power packing a seductive punch that had floored all by second song What The Water Gave Me. By Ceremony highlight Spectrum, Welch's constant twirling around the stage had the eclectic crowd likewise spinning, and the harpist was beginning to emerge as someone worthy of their share of the spotlight too. An obsessive fervor rose in the front rows, Welch addressing it with “it might be a bit awkward if we just popped backstage now”, her sweetly accented voice and giggles only working to heighten any potential stalking desires. The change to a velvet stockings and leotard getup for an epic rendition of Heartlines really didn't help either. Breaking Down even came complete with an “I love you” mid-song banter breakdown. Gosh. Seven Devils was the peak of the stage and lighting show, the visuals combining with Welch's commanding set of Lungs to breathe a spell on all, which helped Welch successfully beckon almost an entire Dome to stand for Shake It Out. Most legs stayed upright for Dog Days Are Over, during which the room lost about 20% of its collective phone battery power due to videoing. A long encore break was explained as being the result of a foot gouging, Florence adding blood to the sweat and tears the show had already produced. No Light, No Light was breathtaking in its intensity, though the few-songs encore still left many wondering where the heck was You've Got The Love. Perhaps Dizzee spoilt it for her? Or The Xx? Either way, if you're going to be voted XFM's greatest female performer of all time on the back of only two albums, you've got a responsibility to leave the crowd feeling the love fully. Yet it was a forgivable failure from someone who certainly has risen to the rank of 'rock goddess' very quickly indeed.