King Gizzard, POND, ORB: The Holy Trinity of Aussie Psych hits Sin City

Las Vegas is known for its over-the-top antics and last night’s show at The Hard Rock Hotel was no exception, they don’t call it Sin City for nothing. When the creme de la creme of the Australian psych scene, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, hit the poolside stage, mischief reigned.

Loyal fans, many of whom had traveled hundreds of miles to catch a stacked lineup that also featured Aussies POND and ORB, quickly filed into the hotel pool area. . On a night of many firsts, ORB kicked off its maiden U.S. tour by opening the night’s festivities. Unfortunately, due to the complicated maze that was the entrance to the show, I was unable to make the set. POND brought its synth-fueled pop to Vegas with new tracks “Paint Me Silver,” “30000 Megatons,” and “Sweep Me Off My Feet,” which ended with a fan offering to sweep POND’s lead whimsical fairy, Nick Allbrook, off his feet. The band even let loose and took advantage of Nevada’s laid-back marijuana laws by smoking a joint mid-set with some lucky fans.

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Nick Allbrook of POND

Fresh off releasing the Middle Eastern-tinged Flying Microtonal Banana this year, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard kicked off its set with the track “Open Water,” in which bassist Lucas Skinner dished out riffs of rolling thunder. Other groovy favorites from Flying Microtonal Banana followed, such as “Nuclear Fusion,” “Sleep Drifter,” “Billabong Valley” – an outlaw tune about the infamous fictional character Dan Morgan sung by keyboardist Ambrose Kenny Smith – and “Doom City,” the apocalyptic tale of air pollution. While the live cuts from Flying Microtonal Banana were crisp, the lack of a live Zurna was noticeably absent.

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Left to Right: Cook Craig, Ambrose Kenny-Smith and Joe Walker

The ever-catchy single “Rattlesnake” flipped the vibe from dance party to full-on madhouse of thrashing bodies for the second half of the show. As if the Gizz hadn’t conjured up enough energy by this point, it upped the ante with darker tracks “Alter Me,” “Altered Beast 2,” “Alter Me 2,” and “Altered Beast 3” from the first chapter of the soon-to-be-released album Murder of the Universe. The level of intensity in the Nevada air was so high that security mistook the mayhem of the crowd for an actual riot and entered the mosh pit in attempt to combat the moshers. Upon seeing this, King Gizzard front man Stu Mackenzie politely directed security to stop mistreating fans and get out of the crowd. They obliged, and fans rejoiced!

The show took another yet another turn.

“How’s the water?” Mackenzie asked the audience late in the set, a mischievous grin on his face. He then talked fans into helping him crowd-surf his way to the pool for a dip. A soaked McKenzie crowd-surfed back to the stage to close out the show with a goliath of a medley, including “Am I In Heaven/Altered Beast/I’m In Your Mind” and “Cellophane.”

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All photos by Heather Emily

 

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Concert Etiquette 101

Festival season is right around the corner, and you’re going to your first concert, hell yeah!! Or maybe you’re a veteran concert goer. After years of attending shows I’ve collected a few tips on etiquette so you know what to expect. I mean real tips not any of this please-don’t- bump-into- people, don’t- sing aloud, stop- dancing party pooper bullshit. Beer, Sweat, Moshing…. Ahhh the musky scents of a show.

Wear Deodorant!

Think this one is pretty much a given right?…Wrong! More likely than not venues are dark, with a half ass working AC and with that many people in one area sweating is bound to happen. Don’t be that smelly person that reeks of mystery funk put some deo on, maybe even slab on an extra layer.

Put Your Damn Phone Down

Taking of few pictures/videos is totally fine. Obstructing everyone’s view with your hands in the air the entire time, not only makes you an asshole but you also just kind of robbed yourself of being in the moment. Instead stop and absorb the sheer awesomeness of whoever is on stage. Take a few snaps, selfies, videos, whatever, then put it up please.

Claustrophobes, Pregnant Women, Kids, The Fragile…to the back!

We’ve all seen it, the 300 pound guy in the front arms locked on the rail trying to protect his girlfriend from a rowdy crowd and he WILL fight anyone who comes close to her. Sorry dude there are THOUSANDS of people behind you, can’t really help it….unless…..you guessed it, move to the back where your precious baby, gf, personal bubble etc. will be safe!

There will always be drugs.

It’s unavoidable, I’m actually surprised when I don’t smell a doobie in the air at a show . If you do take the risk and bring some party favors, pro-tip: wait until you’re in the crowd to do them. Sparking up at the entrance is a sure way for things to take a turn for the worse. On the other hand, if you’re straight edge congratulations, good for you but that doesn’t mean everyone needs to abide by your rules. Instead on going on a unwanted rant about drugs next time you catch a whiff of reefer, just ignore it or face away from it. No need to make a shriveled face of disgust!

Stay Hydrated.

The most important rule of all! Summer festivals can have some really grilling temperatures that will have you sweating like a hooker in church! I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen get pulled out of the crowd red in the face and limp. Everyone likes to party but you should party responsible (yes there is such a thing) and drink plenty of water! Especially if you have had something bit harder than the average joint. NO EXCUSES! Fill up that reusable water bottle and save yourself a trip to the ER.

Now put on some comfy shoes and go get ‘em tiger!

Words by Ely Cruz