There is something about outdoor gigs that really makes a live show shine to the max. May it be the atmosphere, the fresh air, the beautiful St Kilda scenery, or the inviting lack of condensation within crowds of people. These outdoor venues are certainly popular and drawing in the crowds time and time again. And what better way to enjoy such an event than with the legendary King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.
Upon entering the Palace Foreshore venue, the vibe of the crowd was exactly as I envisioned; the smoke in which you can’t differentiate between the smoke machine or vaping teenagers and the sight of breskies passed around between patrons and fans alike. Civic swiftly opened the event with a very electric demonstration of local Melbourne Punk, with a very fitting visual look of the band members especially one of the guitarists with an axe hanging at his knees and a cigarette out his mouth. You could tell the crowd got pumped up with this energy awaiting the main event, fuelled by a local ferocity of youth wanting to express emotion through music that fit.
As the foreshore packed tightly together, punk band Civic was followed ever so closely by Stella Donnelly, and what can I say, the wholesome indie vibe of her performance really brought us together collectively, resonating with our youthful feeling of liberation and happiness through music. We looked through her apologetic complaints about her hairstyle (which visually trumped this self-feedback as the sun made her kissed-by-fire locks shine as bright as her musical capabilities) and gazed ever so admirably at a different but graceful alternative set of tunes. This support really stood out and I will be paying close attention to her musical journey, as I’m even at the moment enjoying her track Lungs, which was a personal highlight.
We crammed together awaiting the main act for the night, and even with an ever so casual entrance to a roar of applause and screams, the boys of King Gizz after a long year of touring were ready to perform a monstrous set on their home soil….and oh boy did they deliver.
The first half of their set perfectly set up among us with Crumbling Castle, The Fourth Colour, and Planet B, all explosive tracks that created chaotic mosh pits that even I found myself in, and my enthusiasm heightened as I returned to my colleagues dripping in sweat with a dangling untucked shirt. Every individual member of the legendary local band perfectly demonstrated their technologically heightened music skills, from robotic, wavy synths, to Michael Cavanagh’s mind-blowing drum fills and solos, and the ever so entertained theatrics of the lead singers and guitarists, flipping their guitars around behind their backs wowing all of us.
The rest of the set felt incredibly ethereal and psychedelic, as the group performed veteran length versions of most of their hits filled with guitar/synth solos and the unbreakable groove between bass and drums that kept our feet tapping tirelessly. Even while admittedly unfamiliar with a lot of these live tracks, I found myself belting the chorus of Iron Lung, a song they described as “being about vaping”, along with newcomers and fans alike. Even people who had not experience the magic of King Gizzard were absolutely drawn to this funky, prog experience. I found myself in various trances, completely losing myself in this positively manipulative style of music, as my appreciation and love for these local boys grew exponentially.
I left the foreshore among the crowds of patrons absolutely stunned, as even I, who had a general understanding of their vibe, did not expect the magical experience King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard gave me, and I will ‘Fore-SHORE’ (hah, see what I did there) be catching more and more of their live sets in the coming years.