Thu. Dec 3rd, 2020

Performance: King Gizzard and The Wizard Lizard at The Hollywood Palladium

Featuring Amyl and The Sniffers

I’m not as cool, or as young, as some of the shows and crowds I end up at. That was the case on a Thursday night at The Hollywood Palladium.  I’m used to concert goers ending up at the show via Uber or Lyft, and saving a couple bucks on parking. I get it, but, tonight the Lyft drivers also gave the young passengers a kiss on the cheek before exiting the motor vehicle.  I’m not sure if that is a new company policy, or, if all the fans tonight were younger than the legal California driving age.

My guess would be that the crowd was extremely young, and their parents had to drive them to the show. I’m hoping it’s a new added service that all ride shares will adopt moving forward.  Not that it fucking matters at all, but, it just made me feel like an old fart clinging to my youth.  So fuck you… cool kids.

King Gizzard @ The Palladium Photo: Anthony Mehlhaff

Anyways, the night before I had seen Amyl and The Sniffers play their first American show at The Moroccan with New York natives (and one of my personal favorite bands) Surfbort. That show will go down in the history books.  Let me just say that a world tour with Amy Taylor (Amyl and The Sniffers lead singer) and Dani Miller (Surfbort’s lead singer) would be a barn-burner to put it lightly.  These two women are power houses of performance. They have an ability to suck you into their whirlwind of destruction like few I’ve ever seen live!

Update (2/4/19). Surfbort and Amyl and The Sniffers ended up doing several shows together including @ The Factory (which I will post a review of) and a couple shows “down-under.”

But, tonight is about the Palladium show, and it started off with a bang in the form of Aussie indie rockers Amyl and The Sniffers. They are set to release new music later this year I was told, while chatting with Declan Mehrtens. He tells me about how “you should never look a lead guitarist in the eyes!”  “Basically it’s like a challenge,” he told me.  You’ve been warned.  

These guys kill it on stage, and after the show they are always hanging out with fans.  I will admit that being in such a large hall, with such a large distance between the fans and Amy Taylor, was different.  I just wish the barricades weren’t there, so Amy could swim among the pools of youth.  Don’t misunderstand me, they still killed, but, if you get a chance to see them in a small hall, don’t fucking miss it!  You’ll be sorry if you do.

Tonight’s crowd took a little bit to get going.  I tried to do my part by screaming in the photo pit and being excited, which was quickly met with security warning me to chill, or else.  I honestly was confused.  “Are we not at a rock concert!?”  “Don’t yell at the bands,” dude scolded me.  I pleaded my case, but, it fell on deaf ears as he threatened to kick me out.  It was mind boggling, but, I went on with shooting Amyl and The Sniffers, and then checked my gear in with the gear valet before squeezing and swimming my way to the front of the barricades.

In an attempt to get the crowd hyped for this band that I now loved, I hopped (more like fell over) the rail and was quickly escorted by my “don’t yell at the bands” friend.  Here’s where shit got silly.  Usually at shows, “like every show I’ve ever been to” you make it over the wall, they [security] escorts you to the side, and then you make your way back to the front to do it all over again.  It’s a thing.  But, tonight after creating a couple of tiny mosh pits, I decided to go over the rail for a second time, and this time my “Best Friend” was not having any part of it. He grabbed me by my pants strap and hastily pushed me through the crowd as he yelled, “that’s it, you’re kicked out!  I warned you!  Don’t try to fucking run!”  It would have been funny if it wasn’t so silly.

My, now, new Best Friend had a hard time listening to my explanation of the situation and was truly pissed off.  I wasn’t sure why. Maybe because he had to touch my sweaty waistband?  Maybe?  But, as I sat and pleaded my case in security’s “Special Room” to be able to shoot King Gizzard’s set and how it was all just a misunderstanding, my friend got a call and had to go back to the concert.  I was happy when he left, because then I was able to talk to the boss and he decided to give me another chance. He let me back into the show.  Mad ups, my dude.

KGATLW Photo by Anthony Mehlhaff

The crisis was averted.  It was weird but I got back just in time to see the headliners, “King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard.”  From today until one week before, knowing I would photograph the show, I had not even heard of this band, except in passing. At first listen, (early EP’s) I wasn’t so much a fan.  But, once I dove into albums like “I’m In Your Mind,”  “Flying Microtonal Banana,” and my personal favorite “Nonagon Infinity,” the band has been on repeat in my brain and speakers ever since.  That’s twice in the same week I had been extremely wrong about a band: first with “The Struts” and now with “The Gizz.”

Stu Mackenzine of King Gizzard stabbing his guitar. Photo: Anthony Mehlhaff

It just goes to show you that you really could be in the wrong mood, mind set, or simply have to be turned onto the right album. Maybe even more importantly you have to see a band live.  This Psych-rock troupe of seven is a joy to bounce around to, and to watch lead vocals and guitar player, Stu Mackenzie stab into alternate dimensions with his cosmic guitar and bend time as he head bangs from side to side, while his tongue slaps his face as he thrashes.  They played all the jams including “Cellophane,” “Rattlesnake,” and ended with the murderous, “Nonagon Infinity” track, “Gamma Knife.”

This night was awesome.  Between the Aussie music, the drama of being almost kicked out, and seeing tons of “Homies,” this experience was magical.  Seriously though, go see this 1-2 combo of killer Australian musical showmanship,

This tour hits Seattle tonight and then continues all across North America.

Pick up King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard’s newest album “Gumboot Soup” at kinggizardandthelizardwizards.com and where ever else music lives.  And these guys have some of the coolest merch around so…

Don’t forget to pick up Amyl and The Sniffers “Giddy Up”

“Balaclava Lover Boogie”. Amyl and The Sniffers
Full crew credits in youtube description.

They will be more than happy to sign your vinyl copy, especially my dude Dec. It’s a service he provides!  Ha, love these guys.

See ya in the pit, mother fuckers.  Peace, Love and rock and roll.

“Gamma Knife” Directed by Danny Cohen
full crew credits in youtube description.

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