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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Usher Hall

29 May 2024
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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Usher Hall

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard melt faces at Edinburghs Usher Hall

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, the Aussie psych-rock powerhouse, brought their melon-twisting magic to Edinburghs Usher Hall Monday night, and boy, did they deliver.


King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - Photo by Stewart Fullerton.

A last-minute change saw scheduled support act Grace Cummings pull out due to illness. However, the void was quickly filled by fellow Australians, Children of Finland Fighting in Norway (C.O.F.F.I.N), a hard-hitting rock group from Sydney. With their unrelenting energy and "good-times-all-the-time attitude", the foursome did a fantastic job getting the crowd ready for the cosmic gumbo that is King Gizz.


King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - Photo by Stewart Fullerton.

Facing off with the expectant crowd, a kilt-laden Stu Mackenzie wastes no time launching an all-out assault with "Magma", a blistering, firecracker of a tune that showcases why King Gizzard are currently one of the most exciting bands on the planet. Bouncing between soothing crooner and possessed digeridoo, Mackenzies vocals create a new paradigm for rock n roll singers everywhere. Michael "Cav" Cavanaghs drumming is both frenetically chaotic and exquisitely precise. This is a band that has mastered the art of balancing structure with spontaneity. The bands ability to memorize and execute their complex compositions is phenomenal to witness. No matter what happens on stage, these guys have got it under control.


King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - Photo by Stewart Fullerton.

From there, it was a non-stop journey through the bands genre-hopping discography, a sonic rollercoaster that careened from garage-punk to prog-rock to psychedelic freak-outs and back again. "Im In Your Mind Fuzz" was a cyborgs fever dream, while the sprawling, harmonica-driven "Daily Blues" added yet another dimension to King Gizzards outstanding setlist. The stoner-thrash track "Gaia" goes unfathomably hard, providing echoes of Mastodon, Red Fang and even some Sabbath-esque riffs thrown in for good measure.


King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - Photo by Stewart Fullerton.

The evenings closing song, "Rattlesnake", momentarily transforms the Usher Hall into a scorched desert, its hypnotic, driving rhythm and buzzing earworm of a chorus sure to have coiled its way around the brains of every punter in attendance. It sounds cliche, but to truly understand what makes King Gizzard so special, you absolutely HAVE to go and experience them live. Just? trust me on this one.

If youve been sleeping on King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, nows the time to wake up and smell the magic mushrooms. While their prolific output " a staggering 23 albums in just over a decade " may seem intimidating to the uninitiated, theres truly something here for everyone. And heres the thing: the music is just THAT good.


King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - Photo by Stewart Fullerton.

With a willingness to take risks and a level of creativity bordering on psychopathy, King Gizz have established a new milestone in rock music. Theyre changing all the rules and creating a counter-culture thats entirely their own. Theyre the kind of band that makes you question everything you thought you knew about music, and thats a beautiful thing.

Review by Fraser Doig, Photography by Stewart Fullerton.

 

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Review - King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Usher Hall - Glasgowmusic.co.uk