Gizzfest Brisbane 2017
On a rainy Saturday in Brisbane this past November, Emmett and I attended Gizzfest for the second time. Last year, we attended in its hometown of Melbourne. This year we finished doing some work in Queensland and then headed down south to Brisbane for the third annual Gizzfest. You may be thinking "What is Gizzfest? That sounds vaguely gross?" Well, it's not gross. At least, not any grosser than any other music festival full of sweaty head-bangers. Gizzfest is an Australian multi-city music festival put on by the band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and their record label Flightless. Flightless was created by drummer Eric Moore in 2012 for the sole purpose of putting out King Gizz albums. In their early days, as their website says, they used "dole money to ship out King Gizzard records in pizza boxes." (Quick aside: Emmett bought an early Gizz album that came in a pizza box. As a huge Gizzhead, he is quite proud of this fact). The label has since expanded to six other acts.
I'm no music critic, so I'll just say here that they are one of my all-time favorite bands (I've seen them live four times now) and if you like heavier psychedelic-influenced rock, you should go listen to their stuff. And even if you're not into that kind of music, you should still go listen to them because they are super inventive and change their sound up all the time. There is bound to be one album of theirs that you can dig. Take it from the real music critics:
Anyway, without further ado: here's what we got up to at Gizzfest 2017 in Brisbane.
Local Acts at the Gizzfest Huts
Outside of the main stage at Gizzfest were four huts (trailers) populated with bands represented by Brisbane-based music label & promoters. For the first hour or two of the show, we wandered between the main stage and a few of the huts. We watched the whole set of Brisbane locals GUNK at the Mellum hut, the start of RÖTTEM's set also at Mellum, and WHALEHOUSE at Jet Black Cat Music. I really enjoyed getting to see three local punk bands play; not only was there a great energy at each set but they were all female-fronted. Actually, GUNK and WHALEHOUSE were both all-female groups. I'm always saying that I need more badass lady bands to listen to, so I was delighted to catch those gals live.
Quick story time: while nodding along with GUNK's catchy punk tunes, we recognized some familiar faces. Turns out that we were standing behind Ryu (drums/vocals) & Go Kurosawa (sitar/organ), brothers and members of Kikagaku Moyo. Emmett was probably looking forward to their act the most, so he was pretty thrilled to get a chance to take a fanboy photo (see below).
Photo Ops & Merch
Not sure if you can tell from the photos above, but I moreso than Emmett am a sucker for photo ops in painted cutouts. Plus I just love Jason Galea's artwork so much. Anywho, after I hammed it up in the cutouts, Emmett's focus lasered in on the merch table. Band tees are sort of his de facto uniform, cause he loves to support bands that he likes so we bought three: Gizzfest 2017, Flightless, & Kikagaku Moyo. Plus we also bought one beer coozie (or "stubby holder" as the Aussies say).
Other than her stint as spoken word artist on King Gizzard's Murder of the Universe album, I was not familiar with Leah Senior prior to this show. Her music was very mellow and breezy, like the kind of thing you'd listen to driving a scenic road in summertime. I'll be downloading some of her tunes when I get back home... so I can listen to them on a scenic drive in summertime. ;)
The Creases are a local act from Brisbane. They have a very radio-friendly Britrock sound. That's not really my favorite style of music, but they are talented dudes and have a great live presence.
WOW. This set blew me away. Kikagaku Moyo are incredible musicians. Listen to/buy their music here or, even better, PLEASE go see them live. (They're touring the US this Spring!) Then you can enjoy moments like this:
I love the Murlocs! This was the third time that I've seen them live and it was my favorite performance of theirs yet. Why? Because it was the first time I had seen them since the release of Old Locomotive, probably one of my favorite albums of all time. I can't do it justice with words, just listen to it:
La Luz is a surf rock band from the U.S. - Seattle to be exact. They put on a lively concert of harmonic, mellowed out tunes. Honestly, I was surprised that they're from Seattle because they give off some serious California vibes.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Ok, I can't remember the set list for King Gizz from that night. Probably because I was having too much fun. But they kicked off the night with People Vultures, one of their heavy-hitting singles off of 2016's Nonagon Infinity (a nine-track monster of an album in which every song seamlessly flows into the next including the closer and opener, creating an infinite loop). It was a great start to the show and the moshing began immediately. Emmett left to join the moshpit and as he says "get rowdy" while I stayed at the very front of the crowd and made my neck sore from headbanging. One of my favorite parts of their set was when they played Crumbling Castle - the single off of Polygondwanaland. Polygondwanaland had just been released (into the public domain!!) the day before Gizzfest Brisbane. The rest of the set was just as lively and exciting, as always. Every time I've seen Gizz live, I've thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Check out their latest album below, the last of five releases that they amazingly put out in 2017 alone. I think the first track, Beginner's Luck, is one of their most accessible songs for listeners of any taste.
I don't what else to say except that Gizzfest was an awesome experience and I'm really glad I've been able to go twice now. 15/10, would go again.