Florence and the Machine, 3 August 2010 at Festival Hall, West Melbourne.
It was so amazing I almost have no words, except that I really have loads of words, which I will share with you now.
The set opened with the giant purple curtain (erected so we couldn't see them setting up) fell to the ground in an instant and the drummer was beating on his drums with the intro to Drummer Boy.
Florence appeared centre stage wearing a long cream coloured dress, with sleeves that had pieces of the beautiful cream fabric hanging from her elbows so that when she dances her beautiful graceful movements are enriched with all the beautiful flowy fabric following her lovely movements. Is flowy a word? Say it with me "flow-ee". She wore her fiery red hair long and flowy too. Her microphone stand had red flowers wound around it. And most impressively, she had her own drum, on which she banged (and somehow gracefully) during a few of the songs.
An enormous harp sat to the left of the stage, stummed beautifully by a man named Tom. Thanks Tom, it really was very lovely. I've never been to a gig before where there was a harp (and I thought Matthew Bellamy was a revolution).
They gradually worked their way through their only album to date, Lungs, with each song more exciting than the last. (Although they also debuted 2 new songs in total, which were both incredible and very true to their style.)
Sometimes when I see a band I love live, I'm dissapointed that their "sound" isn't captured in the same way the album captures it, or that they can't sing as well live. On her album, Florence has this enormous voice that fills every inch of the room and live her voice is every bit as enormous and incredible. Now I can add respect to the list of feelings I have of Florence.
When she sang Cosmic Love I (predictably) had tears streaming down my face. The harp, her voice, it was too much. That, and, her beautiful cream dress was made even more beautiful with her twirling around stage doing lovely graceful pirouettes and arm dancing things during much of the performance.
They thanked us for being a wonderful audience and said some lovely things about Melbourne and Australia and then left the stage, returning a few minutes later following the raucous sounds made by the clapping and stomping from the audience. They had to come back though, they hadn't done Dog Days!
The encore, a new song, followed by Kiss with a Fist and Dog Days. Florence arranged audience participation (in the form of jumping up and down) for Dog Days, and it fitted, because it's impossible to sit still when she sings that song. It makes me feel as though I'm flying through the atmosphere. Incredible.
The whole experience is my top 3 favourite gigs of all time, and it could quite possibly be number 1, a big call by anyone's standards. Okay I'll call it equal first...