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FRONT ROW | TODD TERJE & THE OLSENS @ THE FORUM

There was a level of anticipation behind Todd Terje’s first time bringing his band, The Olsens, to Australia, and a sold out Forum Theatre in Melbourne were the last to see the Norwegian producer work his magic in full live form. From watching mid thirty year olds popping pills to realising that in three hours of music not a single live vocal was used, it was an interesting and impressive show.


The night opened with a DJ set from Ara Koufax that blended into a follow on set from Tornado Wallace. Both were impressive, but the crowd was far from interested until the latest stages of Wallace’s set. In fact, contrary to most shows seen at the Forum, the crowd only slowly trickled in with a grand total of ten people entering when doors opened. There was always a body or two moving for the two DJs, but given the massive capacity of The Forum, it was hardly noticeable.

When Terje and the Olsens took to the stage a few things were noticeable. Suddenly, the venue was filled to the brim, and given the Sunday night and to a lesser extent the older crowd, the bars were suspiciously quiet. Moving away from the excessive displays seen so often at dance shows, the simple quirky artwork hanging behind the band was refreshing, as was the ensemble of instruments covering the stage.

For the next hour, the drum kit and Terje’s on synths were the only things that never stopped. Working through material form 2014’s It’s Album Time for the better part of the set there were instances of bongos, flutes, and saxophones building up the layers of sounds. The light show was reasonably tokenistic, with the true live element of enjoyment coming more from the atmosphere in the room. It was a show that sounded good more than looked it. You can only watch technical instruments play for so long before you’d rather just dance after all. As expected, Inspector Norse and Delorean Dynamite were the highlights of the night, but that says little in a performance of constant grooves.

 

Ayden Measham-Pywell

Tallest kid at every gig // Questionable dancer at best // twitter/instagram: ayds_on_toast