Australian psychedelic rock band King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard brought mind-melting music to the rain-soaked masses at the Malkin Bowl in Vancouver.
Opening the show was Amyl and The Sniffers, another Australian band but with a seventies stylized rock meets punk vibe. There lead singer, Amy Taylor, was phenomenal, summoning the thought-to-be-lost superpowers of vintage Joan Jett in The Runaways with a bit of Iggy Pop’s spastic i-dont-give-a-fuck possession. I had never even heard of this band before the show, but as soon as there set was done I was on my phone trying to purchase as much of their music as I could. It was more than a breath of fresh air, it was a fucking slap in the face wake up call of what great music can be like.
Stu Mackenzie and the rest of King Gizzard sauntered on stage under the praising cheers of the excited crowd.
Raindrops started to fall all around.
The band started things off with “Digital Black” from their tenth studio album Murder of the Universe, one of five compilations these serious overachievers dropped in 2017.
The rain coated the audience as they jumped and bounced and screamed to the wavy guitars and dualing drums. Plumes of steam billowed out of the horde.
The band, as with my previous experiences, was sonically inspiring. The depth of the sound was hypnotizing. the layers of guitars and drums and vocals and harmonica and everything else created this complex earworm that tickled my brain.
King Gizzard has been humble in their rise to notoriety, they interacted with the random shouts from concertgoers with smiles and modesty.
The rain dropped in sheets and then subsided, only to return again, but it added to the experience. It added a fourth dimension of sensory perception. I swear I could feel each note drifting down my arms, as the water rolled along.
I was impressed with the performance. This group just keeps getting better with each day that goes by. Experimentation and exploration have taken their sound down some paths that have revealed the layers and complexity to their ability. (Fine wine, yada yada yada)
King Gizzard has climbed to the upper echelon of the psych world and it doesn’t look like they have any plans on stopping.
With five albums in 2017, I wonder what the rest of 2018 holds for them.
Thank you to both bands for a stellar night out.
Setlist Digital Black Vomit Coffin The Lord of Lightning Cellophane Altered Beast I Rattlesnake Greenhouse Heat Death Nuclear Fusion Sleep Drifter All Is Known Billabong Valley Crumbling Castle The Fourth Colour Deserted Dunes Welcome Weary Feet The Castle in the Air Muddy Water The Wheel Robot Stop (Hot Water tease) Big Fig Wasp Gamma Knife (People-Vultures riff/intro)