King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
June 8, 2018 @ Showbox Sodo
By Andrew Lowe
This summer I witnessed the organized chaos that makes up the collective called King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. This show was a little different from my normal night out to see artists I know well.
In this case, my friend gifted me a ticket. I’d previously heard about King Gizzard from a bandmate and a few friends that generally have pretty good taste and I knew there was some buzz about this psych/heavy/jammy collective from down under, but I wasn’t intimately familiar with their music. So I listened to a couple of their albums to prep and set off to experience the group live.
Pulling up to the parking lot I immediately caught a whiff of skunky weed and saw an airborne hacky sack or two. Fuck. Did I get tricked in to a Phish cover band show?
Thankfully, once I got through the door the spread of audience members ranged from awkward high school kids to metal heads to the techie I imagine flew down from SLU on his One Wheel -it is Seattle after all.
Don’t get me wrong” glazed-eyed hippies were still roaming the front of the stage, but I’m glad that wasn’t the only audience. I hate the smell of patchouli.
Kicking off the night were fellow Aussies Amyl and The Sniffers, a group of punk kids that delivered 45 minutes of fast, snot-nosed music about getting drunk and giving the finger to anyone who looks in your general direction. I loved it, mullets and all.
At this point I was starting to get a little tired and a little anxious. What the hell was this band going to be like live? You really can’t pin them to a paper like most music entomologist.
What emerged was a set full of tunes heavily featuring tracks from 2017’s Gumboot Soup. A group of at least seven musicians with shaggy hair and t-shirts emerged to play some of the oddest ,yet deep grooving music I’ve listened to in the past five years. In between songs they’d switch instruments, howl during songs, and feature some throwback psychedelic oil-based imagery.
I didn’t really know what to expect, and now I don’t really know what I saw. King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard are a refreshing breath in today’s music scene filled with highly conditioned front men and women. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always go back to Nick Cave, Tom Waits, and other fire and brimstone rock performers but this was great. This is what it’d look like if those stoners from high school made it big.