Orbital @ The Metro Theatre, Sydney (05/05/2012)

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Orbital have now been around for more than twenty years, but from the outset let me just say: the lads still put on a good goddamn show. There’s no long intros and fluff here – we’ll get right to the good stuff – and there was plenty of that at the Metro on Saturday night.

One of Sydney’s finest in Simon Caldwell had the crowd rocking with a 1hr warm up, and all augured well. Given how early it all finished, would’ve been nice to see Caldwell play for longer, but alas, it was not to be.

Orbital appeared a little earlier than planned and wasted no time. Kicking things off with the opening track from their new Wonky album, One Big Moment sounded exactly how it did on the album. Except live, and as a result, infinitely better. Then boom – straight into the epic Halcyon, – one of those tunes that any fan of EDM needs to hear live at some point in their lives. The lads were here to give the crowd what it so wanted, and they were wasting no time – although that may not have been the case for the Belinda Carlisle and Bon Jovi samples that were tossed in for good measure.

Launching into the uplifting Straight Sun and some of us were rolling around in Orbital heaven. Reviewing their new album recently, I opined that this tune offered “layering so exquisite that you close your eyes and can almost see the music” before it all “dropped into a sea of fist-punching electronic music”. Hearing those same elements live made for exquisite listening, and growing confirmation about how good the new album would sound for Orbital on the road.

They just rolled on, the lads quite literally making music as they went. Their output never stopped, and watching them put it all together was impressive, to say the least. Beezeldub and Never gave us more of the new, and then for a taste of the old, they threw in the classic Belfast , sending fans, young and old alike, into Orbit.

The production side more than held up its part of the bargain, the visuals beaming off the main stage syncing with the music seamlessly, and the sound itself left little to complain about, although as is often the case at Metro, middle centre was notably better.

The lads exited stage left briefly, but after they returned, the rave disco throwbacks of Stringy Acid that I quipped about in the album’s review came out to play: so much fun. Thrown in with the likes of Impact and Chime it made for a stellar encore, and one that not surprisingly left punters fulfilled, but perhaps still wanting more.

But alas, it was over, and while many were left wondering why the party didn’t continue, there were nevertheless many happy faces exiting the venue. It may be miles and years away from where it all began under the M25 in London, but with an impressive back catalogue of tunes to choose from that just keeps growing, the brothers Hartnoll have more than still got what it takes.