By Leo Segal – 12/5/2022
Photo by Leo Segal
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Live at the Paramount Theater,
Seattle, WA, October 6th 2022.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are a psychedelic rock/metal/jam band
based from Melbourne, Australia. I’ve been a small-time fan of theirs for a couple of
years, and have always respected the obvious great amounts of musical talent that I
heard in the few songs I enjoyed. However, that all changed for me when my friend told
me they were able to get a set of two free tickets to see King Giz at the Paramount
Theater in Seattle, since my friend’s close family friend was a security guard at the
October 6th: The night of the concert. I’m originally from LA, so this was my first
time at the Paramount Theater. I was amazed at the incredibly decorative inside; it’s
clearly a quintessential part of Seattle’s history and culture. Again, at this point in time, I
really wasn’t a big enough super fan to know a King Giz song if you played me a random
track off one of their albums, especially because currently they have close to 30 albums
in their discography! Anyways, eventually King Giz hits the stage and opens with a gut
wrenchingly hype rendition of their song, Pleura. The crowd energy off the bat was
enough to get me excited, even though I didn’t know 95% of the songs that were being
played that night.
Like I mentioned earlier, they are technically classified as a psychedelic metal
band. And they played exactly that: metal. I wasn’t necessarily under the impression
that it was going to be all hippie-dippie music, but the majority of their set was
dedicated to head-thrashing, spleen bursting bombardments of sound hurled at us.
Songs like Venusian 1, Perihelion, and Predator X were part of this segment of the night.
I felt absolutely mesmerized and adrenaline-spiked for every second of it.
There was a good amount of moshing, but I never saw anything get actually
violent. People seemed to be there because they genuinely liked what they were hearing,
it wasn’t just a place for people to uncontrollably throw out their aggressive energy. It
was much more of an expressive, controlled chaos, I think because of the respect King
Giz has as a band. It felt like we all wanted each other to have a good time, and even
though it was technically my first ever show where metal music was played, I felt like my
boundaries were respected. It was a great, open, communal crowd experience down in
the pit (there was some higher up regular seating, but the pit was definitely the place to
be for all the action.)
Towards the end of their set, they also played some sick unreleased music of
theirs that has since been released (much more chill than the metal tracks, but still head
banging ensued). My friend and I got burgers and fries afterwards, as we had probably
sweated away enough calories that would make a small elephant pass out.
Each musician was talented in their own way; insane guitar solos, weird drum
beats that were in ⅞ time signature and such, and probably the most eclectic wall of
sound I’ve ever heard created. Their natural on-stage chemistry as a group was also just
super obvious; they were very well-practiced and confident, and it made the experience
all the better. The visuals were also spectacular; a big electronic screen was behind the
band displaying trippy artistic animations of for example planets on fire, lots of lizard
imagery, and generally really solid use of stage lights.
After the experience as a whole, I have the utmost respect for them as musicians
and artists, and am genuinely baffled at how prolific they are in their ability to put out
albums. Although some of their music is not typically what I gravitate towards in my
everyday listening, I am able to see their overarching messages and appreciate the super
raw, potent musical force that they are.
Overall experience rating: 9.5 out of ten. I would go watch them again in a heartbeat.
Check out their full setlist from that night: