Firstly, it felt like such a privilege being back at the Forum watching a rock band. Melbourne’s most impressive live music venue looked amazing, the sound was perfect and the bathrooms are so spacious they could double as a second band room.
ORB hit the stage at exactly 8.45pm as advertised; a rarity in the rock and roll world. The first set was a good opportunity to sit back and realise how lucky we were it is to experience ORB at the Forum. The band, almost motionless on stage, were given a level of animation by the psychedelic laser beam light show dancing around them. Mostly made up by more of their atmospheric tracks, the first set was a good warm up for the onslaught of set number two. The final song of the set, Space between the Planets, gave a great insight into what we were in for. The vibe seemed louder and faster, and the audience really appreciated it.
The second set began, and the atmosphere lifted. The volume level increased and ORB was in full flight. Looking around the audience, heads were bobbing. It almost looked like the crowd were struggling to contain themselves to their allocated seats, As the track O.R.B. hit, the bobbing heads were widespread. It was so heavy, if you shut your eyes, stoner giants Sleep could have been on stage. Looking around, people could not contain themselves. Many were now out of their chairs.
Zak Olsen on guitar and vocals became more animated and this lead to the music becoming more energetic. Jamie Harmer on drums has this simple way of hitting the audience right between the eyes. I loved it. Daff Gravolin fuzz bass made everyone’s insides shake a little. A feeling many of us had not had for over a year now. Most notably, ORB look nothing like the sound they make. Cal Shortal pumping out doom laden fuzz riffs on guitar, wearing what looked like a skivvy, was testament to that.
Standout tunes included debut single Migration, Reflection and the final track Immortal Tortoise.
ORB are at their best when they channel their inner Black Sabbath, topped with a little Funkadelic. They are the local masters of colossal tempo and riff changes. They let the music do the talking.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated by request.