The floorboards of Webster Hall nearly felt like they were about to give way as the sold out crowd in the New York City venue jumped and danced in sync with the rhythmic hurricane stirred up by Aussie rock band King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. The scene upstairs on the venue's balcony was even more dangerously fun and happily hazardous. That’s how it felt for an hour and a half as the rock band from Melbourne powered their way through 18 songs out of their psych rock catalog for their first of two nights in New York on Friday.
As the rain continued to pour as it had been all day in New York City, the storm inside was equally as wild from the first beats of “Open Water,” to the final thunderous notes of their set. Led by singer Stu Mackenzie and his 12-string electric, the group powered their way through songs off their new album, Flying Microtonal Banana. The band’s dual drummers in Michael Cavanagh and Eric Moore were seated across from each other as usual. The two spent the show taking on the role of timekeepers of the deep, with both of their motors running at full velocity and in perfect synchronization to guard the doors of some long lost rock and roll heaven.
Throughout the early performances of new songs like “Doom City,” “Billabong Valley,” “Sleep Drifter” and “Rattlesnake,” the audience became a wave of bodies, shifting form as ambitious crowd surfers took flight after hearing Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s harmonica from hell calling them come.
As they went into the firestorm that was “Robot Stop,” the bluesy garage rock tune with a punk tempo, the audience erupted into roaring applause before forcing bodies to move left, right, upwards and sideways. There was no beginning, middle or end to their set, just one chaotic party with the music turned all the way up for those who dared to go all out with them the entire time. For this writer, it was the first time experiencing such musical madness. For fans who have seen the band in the past, it was just another Friday night in the presence of King Gizzard while they held court.
How many more times must this writer say that no other country on the planet is pumping out great artists like Australia is at the moment?
Fans can catch King Gizzard in the Southern California desert in a few weeks as they're set to play at both weekends of Coachella.
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