I started the night with some end of year drinks and rocked up as jolly as a lord at 9:00, while the sun still shone. I was ready to get my first live taste of the Gizzard as, up until now, all I’d had was via their (many) albums.

When I arrived Tonstartsbandht were just closing out their set, enough of a retro vibe to make me wish I’d arrived earlier… Dreamy vocals and a guitar/drum combo that asked a lot of the players voices and got even more in return. The guy next to me mentioned two screaming cats but I didn’t know where he was going with it. All I got was two Zeppelin fans on a bad acid trip playing a twelve string guitar. I saw a couple of large bearded men dancing together and I knew everything was going to be OK.

Adalita’s sound check was essentially enough to whip the crowd into a mini frenzy. The boys all stood up to pay her the attention she commanded. While we wait I was notified of a man wearing a polo and suspenders. His outlandish choice of attire was nothing compared to the sonic assault my ears were just moments from enduring (in the best kind of way).  With her knees crooked together like a baby dear’s, Adalita put to bed any questions of  her rock royalty status with a pummelling set, proving again that she’s yet to hit her peak, stalking around the stage with the SG and Jaguar both put to good use.

I cracked a can of Melbourne in anticipation of the main event. The Gizzard had such a strong presence on stage (maybe through strength of numbers) that everyone seemed on edge. Two drum kits, two basses, two guitars, and keys backed some seriously reverbed vocals to kick off an intense set. More drinks are thrown through the crowd than consumed. It is a challenging performance for the boys as they seem to switch between every combination of instrument (at one stage a flute duels a harmonica). The band’s catalogue outnumbers their years performing and for a a while everyone forgets where they are and joins the chaos that is King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, only coming to when the beer stops flowing and the roadies start packing up, a look of relief on their faces.

This was one for the pack animals and the guitar nerds, a true performance on both sides of the stage, quality rock delivered to the masses by true masters of their craft.

Stu Clift

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