King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard
Live at Red Rocks '22


4.9
classic

Review

by Ben STAFF
January 30th, 2024 | 25 replies


Release Date: 01/24/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The best way to gizz with the wizz

As the King Gizzard LPs pile up and the collective discourse w/r/t them grows, the more skepticism I’ve noticed bubble to the top of the conversation: of the shallow depth inherent in the jam band formula, at least when used to write quite so many songs quite so quickly; of genre-switching gimmickry, and its inability to effectively mask the gaps in substance that such a restrictive/reductive approach (prolificality and all) leaves; of the disconnect between the lavish praise from fans and the basic, brass merit of the work, whether in terms of present innovation or future legacy; and of doing little more than pay tribute to the sounds of others, as opposed to carving the own unique path. The words “shallow” and “undeserving” and “shit” have been tossed around like hotcakes. They (the hotcakes) are probably correct. They (the hotcakes) do not, however, apply here.

There’s a moment in “The Dripping Tap (Live at Red Rocks ‘22)” where my soul floated up through my skull and left my body, gone, poof. The chosen opener of concert two - being track number 28 of the 86 total tunes stuffed into this triple concert compilation - is genuinely transportative, disconnecting brain from docking station, catapulted into clouds of purple and green. The tempo’s kicked up, as is the scuzz, fuzz and texture of the piece, reverberating with spasms and sweat and humanity, all in real time. It takes an excellent but stiff gizz tune from 2022’s Omnium Gatherum and cracks the sucker wide open, letting the secret sauce flood out across 16 fluorescent, joyous minutes. Come to think of it, it might actually be the only song in this 513-minute marathon that’s actually shorter than the studio cut, by virtue of its speedyboi energy, given every other song is warped into a longer, more tentacled beast. Take, too, the 12-minute rendition of K.G. cut “Straws in the Wind”, double what the album variant allowed for, oozing with delicious microtonal desert rock, or, too, the 20-minute “The River” (from Quarters), blissed up stretched out captivating and iconic. Live at Red Rocks ‘22 revitalises dudd cuts and band classics alike, conjuring pure magic out of improv, elongation, and the free spirit of the jam.

It’s not as if the aforementioned hotcakes are unconvincing, or even wrong, though, at least applied to the group’s broader discography. Even as a long-time and ongoing fan, I’ll readily admit the Aussie rockers have as many misses as hits, maybe more(?), frequently swirling around the plughole of self-parody and derivation, notwithstanding the fresh coats of paint hurriedly applied to each new record. Obviously, the fourth coming of Christ levels of praise they receive is extravagant and undue and unnecessary, particularly given their own self image as a silly band with silly songs that ought never to have made it this far from their silly bedroom “studio”. My best and only defense, it seems, to the deluge of butter milk and egg, to carve out an exception, is to point to this here thing - the subject of this “review” - and gawk and gush with glee.

Digging down to the subtext: Red Rocks is Stu and co’s best album and no we will not be taking questions thank you. It drops the studio sterility, surface level eclecticism and identitylessness, amalgaming instead into a genuine definitive band statement. This bulbous beast, more than the sum of its parts, is the vehicle through which the guys solidify their voice; an epitome of their 10 year career; something genuinely worthy of posterity; one for the ages, finally. The variety displayed here - no track repeated, no genre outstayed - wards off feelings of tack and depthlessness, particularly when coupled with the singularity of character all three performances maintain, fostered by the blind energy and breathless passion that underpins the whole excessive, jubilant mess. Its unnecessary girth - spanning nine CDs or twelve records, depending on the format copped - is, itself, part of that character: ungainly and unsubtle in the extreme, just as the gizz like it; for although this collection could have been released as three separate concerts or, alternatively, trimmed down to its best songs and still filled a 4-hour release, the sense of scale retained here, instead, full fat and uncut, is dumb and hilarious and celebratory and epic and so very, very them; a testament to their throw shit at wall approach to album-craft, condensing the gargantuan gizzverse into something coherent, definitive, with floorboards and bathroom tiles and tangible, physical presence; a decade, a journey, an ethos, solidified. Structurally, too, it’s a mindfuck, practically insisting that you get lost in the soup after a few hours, stoned and upside-down and pleased by the whole juvenile, garish romp; and that’s to say nothing of the production/mixing - oh how I wish all their studio recordings had this much electricity to them - or how spellbinding the performances are - the band a well-oiled machine, gelling together like oatmeal with call and response and back and forth, yet members’ individually stellar, drum solos and vocal inflections and titanic grooves holding their own as highlights - or of all the affecting in-jokes ad libs pleases and thank yous, candorous and heartfelt and good, compounding more and more how much this 3-day long 3-year-in-the-making project meant to them, to be able to produce perform disseminate share, three massive gigs at one iconic venue, and to have people care, actually care, genuinely care, for some fucking reason, about 6 blokes from Melbourne and their daft daft daft antics.



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user ratings (27)
4.8
classic


Comments:Add a Comment 
Odal
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2024


2095 Comments


Keeping up with Gizz is an impossible task lol

Excellent review, I'm tempted to check it and the chicago one out

Veldin
January 30th 2024


5273 Comments


The version of Magenta Mountain here is stunning. Tip: this album is available on Spotify under the artist “bootleg gizzard”.

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2024


10219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The one critique I didn’t wanna put in an awful gush write up but is worth knowing is that all the Murder of the Universe tracks suck (imo) and are hard skips, but that’s just because I don’t like the source material.

neekafat
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2024


26207 Comments


but isn't the chicago '23 one better bc they're in chicago?

Purpl3Spartan
January 30th 2024


8633 Comments


anotha one

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2024


10219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@neek this is longer (by about 3 hours) so by gizz logic this must therefore be better (though I’ve not heard Chicago and it has stuff from their petrodagonic album so hmm)

YoYoMancuso
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2024


18868 Comments


"You should see them live, they're much better live." -Young Neil

dedex
Staff Reviewer
January 31st 2024


12788 Comments


they're indeed mucho mucho better live
amazing read Ben!!!

neekafat
Staff Reviewer
January 31st 2024


26207 Comments


Wow that is a lot of music I’ll have to pass until I’ve done my homework…!

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
January 31st 2024


10219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Tbh Neek you can’t go wrong with this for an introduction to the band.



Concert 1: The River, Rattlesnake

Concert 2: The Dripping Tap into Gaia, and Robot Stop to Mr Beat

Concert 3: Head On/Pill, Float Along - Fill Your Lungs



That’s about 10 tracks and just a touches over an hour and are the obvious highlights from what my brain can recall.

jrlikestodance
January 31st 2024


700 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Got to see the last show of this run in person as my first Gizz show and it was incredible. Really gave me a new perspective of the band. Anxiously waiting for Red Rocks 2023 to drop.

farmerobama
January 31st 2024


482 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I paid 250 bucks for the 12 LP Box set and it's worth every penny

garas
Staff Reviewer
January 31st 2024


8076 Comments


Sounds promising! I guess I'll have to check this one too.

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
January 31st 2024


10219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It took me about 5 days to get through lol Bon Voyage



Great to see them build out their live catalogue so much since 2020



@farmerobama same I will not be telling my partner

tigersbrokefree
February 1st 2024


376 Comments


That's a heck of a track list.

But these guys put on a heck of a live show.

Kompys2000
Emeritus
February 1st 2024


9467 Comments


Still think Live in London '19 makes for a tighter listening experience, has a better "Mars for the Rich" plus a version of "Plastic Boogie" that totally turned me around on the song, and for how long this is I can't help but lament the lack of anything off my personal fav studio gizz, Butterfly 3000 :<

That Dripping Tap performance is absolutely worth buying on its own tho, phenomenal stuff

Kompys2000
Emeritus
February 1st 2024


9467 Comments


Oh and good words as always sleepy!!

farmerobama
February 1st 2024


482 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Watch me go full goblin mode during the marathon show in Hamburg later this year

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 1st 2024


10219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers Kompys!! Gotta check that one, and their broader live discog tbh - their 2016 post nonagon release is my next hit I think

Feather
February 2nd 2024


10166 Comments


I have never listened to a single thing from these guys and maybe this would be a good starting point.



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