Orgy @ Joe's Grotto|12/7/12
Alt metal band Orgy had its heyday in the late '90s/early 2000s, but after singer Jay Gordon retooled the lineup last year (Gordon is the only remaining original member) I was curious to see how they would actually fare live.
Luckily, what I found at Joe's Grotto on Friday night was not only one, but two bands that captivated the audiences attention on many levels.
Locals Element A440 took the stage at 10 p.m. and kicked off the set on an impressive note. The band has the "look" down. Armed with an intricate, mechanized microphone stand with a doll face. Their singer resembled a member of Dope, with his half-shaven, dreadlocked head and body streaked with black paint, wrapped up in a straight jacket. This band actually caught my attention when their song "Cookie Cutter" was first pointed out to me not too long ago.
The band has the stage presence of Static X and Powerman 5000, but sound like vintage Marilyn Manson, a throwback to the Mechanical Animals album. During the second song, the hot chick bassist drank a cup of blood and spit it all over the singer, who in turned smeared it all over the bassist. Ah, keeping it in the family.
Element A440 clearly has an underground following, as there were several people around me singing along to every word.
Orgy went on around 11:30, after a wash of fog and green and purple blinking lights slightly entertained the audience for a whole 20 minutes. And I gotta say this: Jay Gordon did not look like his age of 45. It's hard to imagine a time when they used to open for Blink 182. The band had a ton of energy, Carlton Bost, Ashburn Miller, and Nic Speck each matched Gordon's energy, as the singer belted out into the microphone and kneeling down by the crowd. Jamie Miller provided a solid backing of drums, donning a clownish mask and looking way more innocent than any of the other members. Throughout the evening, Jay Gordon constantly thanked fans, commented on how the sound sucked, and signed autographs from the stage.
And the sound was a problem. The sound system issued harsh squawks every couple of minutes, mostly throughout the first half of the set. But it actually got to the point where Gordon had to stop in the middle of a song to tell the sound guy to turn off certain amps.
Then Orgy ended the set with "Blue Monday," and they brought up on stage none other than local writer/photographer and New Times contributor Jim Louvau, who rocked out and sang along while Gordon jumped into the crowd and pushed the microphone up to fans' mouths to hear the lyrics.
In the end, I'd have to say that Element A440 was more entertaining overall, but Orgy had the better finale.
Suckerface Dissention 107 Platinum Grime of the Century Fiction (Dreams in Digital) Opticon Eva Blue Monday
Critic's Notebook: Last Night: Orgy and Element A440 @ Joe's Grotto
Overheard in the Crowd: "$22 for Orgy? Maybe in '98," and "He certainly doesn't look his age. I thought you were older than him, you old bat." (Oh yeah; that was to me).
Personal Bias: I used to rock out to "Fiction (Dreams In Digital)" in high school, and Gordon still rocked it with a passion.