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Latest Red Rocks Amphitheatre News
Nov 10, 2022
Advertisement King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard have just come home from a six-week American tour with three albums – all released last month – sitting fourth, sixth and 11th on the ARIA album chart. Though most artists would never dream of releasing so much music all at once, dropping three albums in a month makes sense in King Gizzard’s seemingly endless, psychedelic and microtonal universe, where 23 albums have been released in a decade. Straddling genres from garage and progressive rock, to folk, jazz, synth-based pop and metal makes the six-piece King Gizzard all the more unusual in an industry that’s quick to label artists. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre earlier this month. Credit:Maclay Heriot For frontman Stu Mackenzie, however, this week’s chart numbers come a distant second behind the Melbourne group’s most successful overseas tour. This included three shows at Colorado’s famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre, where they didn’t repeat one song in nine hours of live music. “We’ve probably played weirder places, but Red Rocks is the coolest place we’ve ever played,” he said. “Who even let us into a place like that? Stu Mackenzie on stage at Red Rocks with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Credit:Maclay Heriot “The history at Red Rocks is amazing, the set-up and the sound is incredible. “It truly was a spin-out for us. And by any metric this tour was the best thing I’ve ever done ... the scale of it, the amount of people we were playing to, and the energy.” The group’s shows at Red Rocks, which has hosted legendary performances from the likes of U2, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles, followed a spectacular festival show at California’s Desert Daze, and an epic performance at The Greek Theatre in Berkeley, which Mackenzie rated as another tour highlight. Advertisement Eric Barleen, vice president of concerts at Another Planet Entertainment, booked the band to play at the 8,500-seat amphitheatre. He said their debut was unforgettable. “King Gizzard’s three-hour marathon show at the Greek in Berkeley was insane,” Barleen told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. “It was such a beautiful night of psychedelic folk songs, as the moon rose over the stage along the western edge of California. I heard someone say ‘this is like Metallica meets Phish’, which I couldn’t have agreed with more.” King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard (left to right) Ambrose Kenny-Smith, Michael Cavanagh, Joey Walker, Cook Craig, Stu Mackenzie and Lucas Harwood. Credit:Jason Galea The Berkeley show, like most on the band’s recent US tour, had to be rescheduled several times due to ongoing delays caused by the pandemic. “We had these shows marked on the calendar since early 2019, which is crazy to think about,” Mackenzie said. “People had been sitting on these tickets for more than three years, and there’s a certain energy that comes with that, for us and [people at] the shows.” I heard someone say ‘this is like Metallica meets Phish’, which I couldn’t have agreed with more. Eric Barleen, vice president of concerts at Another Planet Entertainment Tim Janes, managing director of Virgin Music Australia, partnered with the band’s record label KGLW two years ago, and said they remain “one hundred per cent independent”. “What’s really interesting, along with the volume of music they’re releasing, is this conversation that’s happening with fans,” Janes said. “Labels and media are no longer the gatekeepers. “Besides the incredible music that’s always evolving, they have unique vinyl packaging, incredible artwork, and lots of vinyl colour options which adds to the collectability . There’s limited edition prints for every gig ... and it’s all unique and done with so much care. Loading “And the fact Gizzard write and record at such a rapid-fire pace, while managing to build into this global touring beast, is absolutely remarkable. No other band is in the ballpark.” This year, including Made in Timeland and Omnium Gatherum, the band has released five albums. They also released five albums in 2017. Changes, sitting fourth on ARIA’s album chart, was the third of last month’s three albums, following Laminated Denim, which has just two songs, each exactly 15 minutes in length. The seven songs on Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava (sixth on the latest album chart), at 64 minutes was “the biggest editing job of any album we’ve ever made,” Mackenzie said. The only plan they had for Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava was to build each song around one of the seven musical modes, over seven days of continuous jamming. “That’s the trade-off of spontaneous creation,” Mackenzie said. “Most of it was crap. It just was. And it took a lot of time and patience to piece something together that felt worthy of being a Giz record. “We try and put ourselves in a position where we don’t fully know what we’re doing, where we’re out of our comfort zone ... and that’s usually where something interesting happens.” A hometown, outdoor show in St Kilda next month is your last chance to see the band in Victoria this year, ahead of an upcoming European tour. After that, it’s Sydney’s turn in March and there’s a Byron Bay Bluesfest show in April before another lengthy American tour. Loading “It just feels like everything in the States is really happening,” Mackenzie said. “We had people who came to every show on the tour, travelling around the country, and a large portion of people went to more than one show. “Mostly, we try not to look too far ahead, maybe one show and when you’re in the show, maybe one song ahead. That’s all you can do ... cross your fingers and hope you remember the lyrics.”
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