Words by Jack Herz.
The prolific King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard took to the stage at The Gov last night for their first Adelaide set since last years Gizzfest. The sold-out venue was packed to the absolute brim before the band had even stepped on to the stage but as soon as they did it was impossible to look away.
The band opened their set with the first four songs from their new record Nonagon Infinity before delving in to the flute-led, earworm Trapdoor that you can’t help but move your head to. The flute made a few other appearances throughout the night but the band mainly kept to guitar, bass, keys and drums, with occasional flashes of harmonica thrown in for good measure.
Much like their records, King Gizzard’s live show goes off in various musical directions at random times, leaving the audience to question if they are playing the same song they began minutes ago. These detours were important as they gave the audience a chance to breathe and appreciate the bands ability to change things up smoothly and often in a very hypnotizing way. The songs would go from breakneck-riffage to quieter, slower melodies in a very natural way which allowed the crowd moments to breathe and take a break from incessant head banging.
There was more to the set than just music though. Audience members who chose to stage dive were continuously targeted by security, despite the fact that at the same time, various other audience members were filling the room with the aroma of weed. Throughout the set, certain punters were removed from the venue completely. This did not sit well with the band, who stopped their set and refused to play until they were let back in. They even went as far to request someone from the venues management to come and talk to them, saying ‘I don’t see why he should be kicked out if he paid to be here’.
Eventually, the venue gave in and let the audience member back in much to the celebration of the crowd and the band themselves. This acted as a sort of intermission and for the rest of the set, the band put all their focus and concentration in to the last few songs.
Much like Nonagon Infinity, their set ended the same way it began and it didn’t become clear until the last few words were sung, just how much of a journey it had been. The band actually played through the entirety of that album and threw in a few other well-known tracks for good measure.
The visual accompaniments that were projected on to the wall behind the band matched the intensity and the feeling of King gizzard’s set. Ranging from glitchy-flashes of neon colours to a crocodile animation you can find on their merch.
With King Gizzard there’s a feeling that if you miss one of their sets then you’re unlikely to see it again due to their constantly evolving discography but one thing that you can’t help but feel will always be there is their uncanny musical ability. It’s clear they’ve put in they’re 10,000 hours practice (and probably beyond).
It has to be said that the combination of multiple drummers and guitarists makes for a whole new kind of live sound which most bands fail to reach with less instruments, it’s rare that you get quantity and quality all at once but with their set last night, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard managed to deliver both.