King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Are Perfection. What Else is New?

King Gizzard

Sometimes, there arises an occasion when all you can really say to describe a performance is “it was really, really dope” and leave it at that. Such an occasion came about with the flawless King Gizzard show at Astra Kulturhaus Wednesday, March 7th, but I promise to do my best.

For starters, any possible personal qualms with the show came from the fact that the venue was overly packed making it difficult to see and sometimes even move. Then there was the even more personal qualm that it seemed a bit unnatural to see King Gizzard playing in such a large, “normal” venue after being lucky enough to see them in a small intimate space outdoors with a minimal audience a few years back.

It just wasn’t the same, and their music seems much more suited to festival-like venues in the summertime. But I recognize that I was spoiled and can’t be selfish and expect hundreds of people not to come to see the Australian music wizards. They are truly phenomenal and give anyone who believes they were born in the wrong decade the chance to experience some real motherf***in’ music. So thanks, guys. From all of us.

The openers were smooth, sexy Cali-based Mile High Club playing slow sensual grooves

The openers were smooth, sexy Cali-based Mile High Club playing slow sensual grooves (a few from their joint album with King Gizzard, Visions of East Brunswick) which provided a nice contrast to the powerful, mind-blowing main act. Some might argue it was maybe even a little too slow-paced, to the point of being completely overshadowed by what followed, but I enjoyed the build-up.

King Gizzard’s set was divided into two-parts: microtonal and normal music, which was not especially apparent until after the show when I heard about it, but some of their most recent releases have been experimentations with microtonal music, so I found this interesting.

going through their repertoire from one or two popular early tunes to assorted tracks from their FIVE NEW ALBUMS!

I’m quite honestly at a loss for how to describe what I saw other than to say that with a backdrop of electrifying roller-coaster visuals, the band literally powered through a full 19 fully-psychedelic songs (often lasting over five minutes each) going through their repertoire from one or two popular early tunes (“Cellophane”) to assorted tracks from their FIVE NEW ALBUMS!

Front-man Stu Mackenzie violently handled the guitar like in the heyday of rock’n’roll, endlessly switching instruments and demonstrating his next-level skills; though all members certainly pulled their weight skill-wise.

allowing dozens of audience members to stage-dive and dance around them without batting an eyelash

They also spoke to the audience in a laid-back manner, joking around amongst themselves, allowing dozens of audience members to stage-dive and dance around them without batting an eyelash, and even losing one of the band members to crowd-surfing and gently asking the audience, “um can we have Alex back, please?”

All of this up to the last number in the show where the band was joined by King Khan stripping and improvising lyrics, and a child playing the tambourine, all band members laughing, audience seemingly confused about what was happening but enjoying every minute. These elements combined into King Gizzard’s very best effort to turn this sold out show and constrictive venue into an intimate and expansive experience for their audience.

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