I knew it was going to be a wild crowd for King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard when I saw a woman in line pick up a roach she’d dropped after her friend had taken a toke and then passed to her. Yes, she finished a joint that had been dropped on a filthy Chicago sidewalk (on North Clark, to be precise) and then joined the line of people who had been “pre-gaming” at the pub next door.
I met a friend of mine, Amy, I hadn’t seen in years for the show. She hadn’t heard of KGATLW, ORB, or Stonefield. She told me she didn’t listen to anything by any of them before the show. She wanted to be surprised. She wore a walking boot as a result of a foot surgery, and that allowed us to sit in a specially designated “handicap seating” area in the Metro balcony. I’m not sure how anyone with an affliction worse than a post-surgery walking boot could make it up to the balcony, but we had great seats regardless.
Stonefield were already playing when we arrived (The Metro is one of the few venues I’ve visited that is serious about the starting times of their shows.), and they had already swooned most of the crowd. Amy was a fan within two songs, and their blend of 60’s psych and doom metal was a heady brew and a fine start to the evening.
ORB were onstage not long after Stonefield had finished their set. I was keen on seeing them as their Birth album is one of my favorites from 2016. Their hard-hitting stoner metal sounded great. They played a fast set that left all of us wanting more (in a good way). I hope they release another album or EP soon.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard came out to an enthusiastic crowd who were crowd surfing within three songs. Amy cried out, “Look at that crowd!” The main floor was a rolling sea of bodies and limbs for KGATLW’s entire set. They played a lot of tracks from their new album, Flying Microtonal Banana (review coming soon). “Sleep Drifter,” “Rattlesnake,” and “Billabong Valley” all were hot cuts. Another big hit with the crowd was “Altered Beast.”
The crowd, which was crazy enough already, went bonkers during “Robot Stop” from their amazing album Nonagon Infinity. “People Vultures” and “Gamma Knife” were also big hits. “Vomit Comet” was fun, as was They didn’t play an encore. Instead, they played a stunning medley of “Cellophane,” “Head On / Pill,” “I’m in Your Mind,” “Altered Me,” “Rattlesnake,” and “Robot Stop.” It was like they had looped the show back on itself like a snake eating its tail. I’ve never seen a band do anything like that live.
It was a killer show. My voice was hoarse by the end of it. By the way, KGATLW has already announced the release date of their second album (of five planned) for 2017. Murder of the Universe will be out June 23rd (and you can pre-order it as of today). Look for them to tour near your town soon!
Keep your mind open.