Review: Orgy spirited but rusty on tour closer at Observatory
1998 called - it wants its music back. But seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised if more than a handful of the fans in attendance (which looked sadly scarce in the first place) left Orgy’s Friday night gig at Santa Ana’s Observatory – the final stop on the band’s reunion jaunt, dubbed the Bad Blood Tour – with that sentiment in mind.
I’ll hand it to frontman Jay Gordon (the band’s sole remaining original member after a seven-year hiatus) and his new henchmen: they delivered a spirited performance, running through hits such as “Stitches,” “Fiction (Dreams in Digital)” and its career-launching cover of New Order’s “Blue Monday.”
During the latter tune, Gordon even jumped down into the audience, moshing and dancing erratically while frequently passing the microphone to fans for cameo singing parts. That move, though fun for the die-hards, ultimately proved a poor choice as many of those volunteers didn’t seem to know the words, resulting in that encore-closing tune resonating more like a drunken rehearsal than a hard-hitting finale.
While the new band members played with a wholehearted fierceness, Gordon struggled vocally throughout the entire set, his voice sounding raspy and often cutting out on the more melodic selections such as “Eva,” “Fetisha” and “Revival” (which featured guest vocals from a female singer in place of Korn frontman Jonathan Davis, who performed on the original recording).
Gordon did admit that he’d been sick for a month, so that explained some of the lackluster execution, but truthfully, most of the music seemed to have lost its visceral sultry quality, something that made Orgy a commanding live act in its heyday.
That said, the evening’s supporting act, Austin, Texas-based hard-rock duo One-Eyed Doll, absolutely slayed during its highly theatrical opening set. Frontwoman Kimberly Freeman was a force to be reckoned with, firing off riff after crushing riff during songs about arson and serial killers (which are people, too, she says) – all with a charming cutesy edge. Quite frankly, Freeman was a tough act to follow.
Orgy Setlist: Suckerface / Dissention / 107 / Vague / Chasing Sirens / Eva / Gender / Fetisha / Opticon / Revival / Stitches. Encore: Fiction (Dreams in Digital) / Blue Monday (New Order cover w/ snippet of Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Right Round (Like a Record)”).
Photos by David Hall, for OrangeCounty.com.