Om w/ Zombi @ the Rickshaw Theatre

by Massimo Siro Andolfatto

As the Rickshaw fills, there’s an air of anticipation. The crowd chatters in excitement, and for good reason—tenured sludge veterans Om will soon bless the stage tonight. After almost twenty years since the group’s inception, hailing from the molten doom that is Sleep, the natural vibrations that emitted at an Om show are a cleansing experience that people are eager to take part in.


But first, Pittsburgh duo Zombi takes the stage, playing a gentle melody momentarily to test the waters. The house is full, and cheers erupt off the floor. As the music progresses, Steve Moore is swapping between heavy bass riffs and oceanic synthesizer blasts, at moments playing both symphonically as Anthony Paterra beats the drums.


The lights shift from green to red, the mood is that of a psychedelic church and the audience is glad to be christened onward. Before long, as the crowd is warming, they whirl off the stage in a frenzy of stereo madness. The crowd cheers and the lights dim. People are excited, there’s fervor in the temple. 

Al Cisneros of Om

When Om takes the stage the crowd yells, people are hanging over the rails, trying to get as close as possible to the stage. The band members are greeted like heroes, bishops spreading a holy word. Al Cisneros begins with gentle plucks of his Rickenbacker, and slowly, other elements dribble into the primordial pool. The band is comfortable and seems at peace, happy and purposeful. The light remains blue throughout the set, as if the whole floor of the Rickshaw is being held under the gentle sway of the sea. Poseidon’s lair. The audience is washed into a trance through gentle waves of the entirely God is Good and Advaitic Songs setlist.

Tyler Trotter of Om

The tide flows from tranquil mantras into stormy undertows. Bass slithers in a snakelike groove around the underlay of sitar drones. Tyler Trotter’s mellotron chimes above the surface in glimmers, sometimes ceasing when he shakes the tambourine in between waves. The band swings heavenly through momentous grooves.


Drummer, Emil Amos, rotates through perfectly drawn-out fills, just to plunge the audience back into the underbelly of the sea. In the tuning breaks between songs, the audience is quiet, save the lone howl now and again. They are fully engaged and ecstatic. Om crafted a repetitious atmosphere that was hypnotically embraced.

The tide recedes, and as the band makes its exit, Al thanks Vancouver and assures the audience, “We’ll be back.”

Om @ the Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver BC.

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Photography by Massimo Siro Andolfatto




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