The band, seven strong, consumed the small stage at the Bug Jar. Colorful and wild patterns were projected onto the stage, painting them, their instruments and the white sheet they had taped up along the back wall. The sheet and the images served to transport the audience from their current reality into the reality of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, which as their name might imply, is not reality at all. Minutes into the first song the tape succumbed and the sheet came down. The lights and darks of the projections remained, turning more into a light show than a projection. The music alone was enough to evoke the world they were creating.
Shifting between head-banging hectic rock and lilting psychedelic guitar jams, two drummers and the bassist held it all together, while three guitars and a fuzzed out harmonica pushed it forward. The music teetered on collapse but never fell over. Short blasts of rock gems like the Zappa-esque “Hot Wax” and punkish “Muckraker” were cushioned by long-winded psychedelia. “The River” off of the just released Quarters, was an infectious blend of Brubeck’s “Take Five” and The Doors “The End.” The Lizard Wizard meets the Lizard King. The show ended on a suite of songs off of their 2014 record I’m In Your Mind Fuzz, a continuous jam featuring a delicious fist-pumping beat, raging guitar leads and blasts of distorted harmonica and exclamatory screams.
The projection went off, the lights went on, the band ducked out the back door out to the street, and all of a sudden it was 1am on a Wednesday night. Reality returned.