Florence + the Machine were not the most obvious of MTV Video Music Awards performers. As the network is now long-removed from its music video beginings, MTV is not exactly the place to go for new artists. Celebrity antics? Check. But discovery? Not so much.
But they made the best of their performance slot
. Though not exactly an unknown act (and their debut, "Lungs," was a European hit), they had been relegated to cult status in America. Not anymore, as lead singer Florence Welch woke up American audiences with her scorching take on "Dog Days." It's a song that builds itself from the ground up, and then disintegrates, only to rebound with a glorifyingly loud, soulful chorus.
-- Todd Martens