The U.K. group, fronted by crimson-haired songstress Florence Welch, told MTV News a few days ago that their MTV Video Music Award debut would be a load of kinda-choreographed chaos. And they were not playing around.
The Machine served up an elaborate, soulful rendition of their multi-VMA-nominated, drum-driven jam "Dog Days Are Over." Donning a drape-y pastel dress, Welch reclined on a rotating platform, red hair splayed about and clutching a gilded mic as she crooned the delicate opening notes to the breakout hit. As she continued to sing directly into an aerial camera shot, the lens pulled out to reveal seven blue-skinned, '60s-bouffant-sporting vamps working synchronized poses around the platform.
As the track ramped up, Welch stood upright and bounded around the stage, leading a throng of undulating dancers billowing across the set in wispy loincloths.
The performance spliced together everything from modern dance to rural church revivals, as an army of drummers rocked out, smacking their instruments with impassioned fervor, and a choir lining the back of the stage dished out heartfelt cheer.
Welch recently explained that the Machine sought to re-create the frenetic and ethereal vibe of the video, which also features a trippy array of vibrant percussionists and dancers decked out in out-of-this-world costumes.
"What we're trying to do is kind of encapsulate the video into a live performance," Welch said. "There's a lot of different characters in the video, and so I'm going to be trying to bring some of that. It's just about the energy of the song, for me. It's sort of energy and chaos."
Choreographer Travis Wall has also dubbed the performance "a huge celebration."
VMA executive producer Dave Sirulnick explained that the performance should establish the British newbies Stateside.
"People have heard the song on television, but maybe those people haven't made the connection to Florence the artist, so that's part of what her performance is going to be about," Sirulnick said.
The big night continues for the VMA virgins, who scored four nods, including Best Rock Video, Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography. Florence and the Machine are still up for the coveted Video of the Year award.
What did you think of Florence and the Machine's VMA performance? Sound off in the comments below!
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