First up was Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders. I'd never heard anything about them before this show, and so didn't know what to expect. As a band they weren't my cup of tea but on the one hand I could see why they'd been chosen to support. The set definitely improved as it went along - the first song was terrible in my opinion, heavily due to the addition of techno/electronic keys (I have nothing against them but these sounded annoying). The second song was more bearable but less engaging - a strong case of background music syndrome. The third song "Her Hands" however was really good! This got my hopes up for the rest of the set. The next song - "Reputation Amputation" peaked my interest simply because of the name - it did slightly fall short of my expectations but I feel like QOTSA could've given it the kick up the butt that it needed. As a whole I don't think I'll be keeping track of them in the future but perhaps they'll pop up elsewhere and re-engage me.
Now for the main event. Thoroughly ruined by the choice of venue and surprisingly so because Sidney Myer Music Bowl aesthetically is gorgeous but for a performer like Florence and the Machine, it was guaranteed to leave the majority of the crowd (including me) feeling left out. Those in the standing area behind the barriers were so disconnected from the stage and the performance that I might as well have been watching it on TV at home. Big kudos to the girl who jumped the barriers and ran into the crowd - I hope that security never caught you. At one point during the set Florence even ran out into the crowd and stood on the barrier to try and engage those standing. I'm sure that those seated in front had a different experience to myself and this definitely taught me a lesson about forking out for the more expensive ticket in the future. Bigger anthems like "Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)", "Shake It Out" and "Dog Days Are Over" managed to stretch their way over the barrier and get a few people moving but some of the newer songs that I was really looking forward to seeing live like "How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful", "What Kind Of Man" and "Delilah", unfortunately didn't quite effect me in the way that I'd hoped and expected. This has in no way affected my views of fatm as artists, I was just a little disappointed that I wasn't more connected to the show itself. There's definitely always next time.
Overall Rating - 6/10
Here are some pictures from the night...