Review: Florence + The Machine in Sydney

opera house

Rhosian Woolridge was at the Sydney Opera House forecourt, for the English performer’s emotional show:

It was with heavy hearts that punters gathered to watch Florence + The Machine play at Sydney’s iconic Opera House on November 14. It was a day filled with grief, fear, anger, and a thousand other emotions. Like something out of an author’s wet-dream, heavy rain pelted down on the harbour with undeniable pathetic fallacy. But despite this, the crowd buzzed with anticipation before Florence and her band took the stage, and nobody seemed to mind the rain.

Florence commanded the stage, but also the weather as she opened with What The Water Gave Me. A poncho-clad and wet crowd soon turned into an almost-dry bunch of mesmerised fans, singing and dancing as Florence fiercely pirouetted across the stage barefoot and dressed in white. After running through the crowd for Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) and belting out Third Eye, a teary-eyed Florence took centerstage, and payed tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks that occurred earlier that morning.

With the Opera House sails lit up by the colours of the French flag, silence spread across Bennelong Point, phone lights were held above heads, and tear-ducts welled (well, mine did at least). Florence charged into her rendition of You’ve Got The Love and sang with the emotive vigour that she’s become known for. Flailing around the stage, tambourine in hand, it was the pinnacle of the night. In a crowd of 6,000 strangers, it would have been hard to come by a single person who felt alone. That’s the point of listening to powerful music really – the discovery of ourselves in strangers. And the powerful music didn’t stop, with songs like What Kind Of Man, Queen of Peace and Say My Name.

“Thanks so much for making us shell-shocked Europeans feel at home” said Florence after singing Dog Days Are Over to a crowd of loved-up fans on each others shoulders, swinging ponchos in the air. Of course, the pleasure was all ours. Florence + The Machine are a band that absolutely out-do themselves on stage, and are truly at home when they perform live. With one final budding crescendo, Florence performed Mother before whimsically prancing off stage, leaving all those there elated, if a little shaken.

Rhosian Woolridge


Review by Rhosian Woolridge.