Originally written for Catalyst Magazine.
Returning to Melbourne for their hometown album launch as a part of the Nonagon Infinity tour, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (from now on referred to as King Gizz) played their first of three shows at The Croxton on Friday (8/7).
A 7-piece band known and loved for their quick output of experimental psychedelic albums, their latest cut was no exception – Nonagon Infinity quite literally being nine songs in an infinite loop. The last song of the album seamlessly leads back into the first. As a result, my first listen of this album quickly became my second – I couldn’t not listen to it twice.
I didn’t feel like the infinite aspect was a gimmick at all – personally, I found it to be ground-breaking. I’d never experienced anything like that from an album before, and from that moment, I knew that I had to see it live. So I did.
We walked into the venue just in time to see Orb – the supporting band. Not too many people were there yet, so we easily made our way to the front. I’d never really listened to much of their stuff in the past, but their performance was mesmerising. About 10 minutes in, the bassist and guitarist switched instruments – then carried on like nothing had happened. Nice.
Each song played by the psychedelic 3-piece flowed beautifully, all played with a slightly different feeling. I felt as though no two songs sounded alike at all, even though it may have seemed that way – an aspect of their performance which I loved. They finished off with what seemed like a 10 minute solo/jam… the perfect lead-up to the headliner.
King Gizz made their way onto the stage, and with no hesitation, they ‘opened the door’ straight into ‘Robot Stop’ – Nonagon Infinity’s first track. My mates and I found ourselves just outside the mosh, but by the time ‘Big Fig Wasp’ had started, we’d weaved our way in – a couple rows from the front is where I’d stay for the rest of the gig. I’m quite sore as I write this, but it was well worth it.
There was no security barrier – so a bunch of crowd surfers could stage dive. It happened more than I’d ever seen before at a live performance. The most memorable one had to be during ‘Mr. Beat’ – when a guy started singing along, right next to frontman Stu Mackenzie. Looking a bit annoyed, Stu gave him a gentle push and he went back on his merry way, surfing through the crowd. This happened right as a security guard walked onto the stage to eye him off – the only time we’d see him for the entirety of the show.
The performance didn’t just rely on the nine tracks of Nonagon, though. About halfway through the performance, they broke into a few songs from 2014’s I’m In Your Mind Fuzz – ‘Cellophane’ being a highlight – alongside ‘The River’, a slower, jazzy chance to relax, from 2015’s Quarters! . This gave the crowd just enough time to recover, before they burst back into the Nonagon tracks.
Finishing the album in order, It was incredible to see a performance in which the band didn’t stop at all. Like a true ‘Road Train’, they chugged their way through the hour-and-a-half long performance – finishing with a reprise of ‘Robot Stop’. They easily could’ve played the whole album again if they wanted to… I’m sure the crowd would’ve gotten behind it. They sounded just like the recording – if not much better.
There wasn’t a lot of crowd engagement, but there didn’t need to be. Their non-stop energy was incredible. King Gizz are a band with no intention of slowing down anytime soon – definitely go out to see them live if you get a chance.