KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD + AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS @ THE HOLLYWOOD PALLADIUM
“Fuck yeah, this is awesome!,” frontman Stu Mackenzie said as soon as King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard hit the stage last night at The Palladium—clearly hyped that the band had sold-out their biggest US show to date. Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, King Gizz are quickly becoming known worldwide for their ten-ton riffs, exploratory style, and prolific output. After releasing five solid albums in 2017 alone, it’s safe to say they’ve earned their notoriety as one of the most notable bands currently around.
Working through a setlist of 20 songs spanning their already formidable discography, the seven members of King Gizz get the pit churning with their mammoth, hard-rock sound. For those unfamiliar, think heavy psych and proto-metal, the kind of thing that conjures up images of cyborgs, wizards, and a certain era of Frank Zappa— exploring the outer reaches of psych rock with everything from infinitely-looping albums, to experiments with free jazz and microtonal tuning.
Kicking things off with the explosive back-to-back of “Digital Black” and “Vomit Coffin,” King Gizz rarely let the energy dip, rallying the sweaty crowd with every blast of Ambrose Kenny Smith’s harmonica. The fatalistic chug and hi-hat rhythm of “Rattlesnake” proved to be a fan favorite, yelps of recognition coming from the audience from the first note, and “Muddy Water,” off of their latest album Gumboot Soup, was elevated from its restrained and stealthy intricacy to a full-blown headbanger.
For all the intensity of the music they play, they’re a pretty low-key bunch. Smith boogies a bit from behind the keyboard, lead guitarist Joey Walker bobs his head around—but Mackenzie bangs his head so hard right off the bat, you wonder how he’s going to make it through the whole show. Dual drummers Michael Cavanagh and Eric Moore sit facing each other, creating a mirror effect that’s trippier and more hypnotic than any of the LSD images that flashed across the screen behind them.
By the time they got to “Robot Stop” the crowd was in a daze, ready to follow King Gizz through all the twists and turns of one of their heaviest cuts. Everyone collectively exhausted, they pushed through to “Big Fig Wasp” and set-closer “Gamma Knife,” with Mackenzie appreciatively tossing out water bottles to the decimated and drenched crowd as he left the stage.
The show was opened by Amyl and The Sniffers, another band from Melbourne with heavy riffs and pulse-pounding energy. Throughout the sweaty set, frontwoman Amy Taylor stomped around the stage, shaking her platinum blonde head as she sneered her way around the sounds of classic 70s punk and hyped and screaming crowd.
The Lord of Lightning
Altered Beast I
All Is Known
The Fourth Colour
Deserted Dunes Welcome Weary Feet
The Castle in the Air
Big Fig Wasp