New bands come to SXSW to make a splash, so when 21-year-old art school casualty Florence Welch eyed the sparkling wetness at the entrance of the converted Mexican restaurant The Rio (currently Vince Young Steakhouse), it was too much to resist.
Florence and the Machine are now headlining festivals, but March ’08 was more than a year away from the debut LP Lungs. Florence and the Machine played first on a five-band bill, which had white hot MGMT in the middle slot. “It was very entertaining,” recalls Ruth Barlow of the Beggars Group, who was on hand to see one of her bands, I Was a Cub Scout. “After the ginger-haired lady wearing pants stopped shouting and banging a drum, she proceeded to launch herself into the ornamental pond!”
Soggy Flo made a mighty impression on MGMT, who hired her and her backing band to open a sold-out European tour that would start in a few weeks.