Monday 22 February 2016

On Stage: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard at Oedipus Brewery

Two things that go together very well are rock music and beer, or even better live music and beer. A rock band playing in a brewery sounds like a match made in heaven. Unfortunately I was too late to list myself among the first hundred people on the Indiestadpas facebook who were allowed to go to one of the two shows of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard with their Indiestad pass. Apparently I was at the top of the reserve list and was among the lucky ones after all.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard at Oedipus Brewing Amsterdam, February 20 2016

The Oedipus brewery is a small brewery that embraces craft beer and cooks up some crazy brews. They have always been active on festivals and other cultural activities so it's a good match to host a rock show. The brewery isn't exactly centrally based in Amsterdam, but can be found in a small industrial area in Amsterdam North across the IJ water, which includes a ferry ride from the central train station. The second show starts at midnight and the weather is simply horrible. Many people arrive at the brewery soaking wet and maybe this is why it doesn't seem to fill up completely although it is sold out. Probably some people decided to stay at home, especially the ones with a Indiestad pass, which is a shame because I'm sure plenty would have loved to take their place.

With so many beers to chose from this night will become a feast for our taste buds and ears. Since there's no real stage, I can only see the heads of the band members that are standing. I really can't see both drummers, no matter how hard I try. The people that did make it to the brewery are in a great mood and when the band starts playing, the first few rows immediately start dancing and jumping. The psychedelic rock songs sound great, even though the sound isn't really good. But what can you expect in a large hall that was not built to host rock concerts. The fuzzed out vocals of singer Stu Mackenzie sound great but it makes it almost impossible to understand what he's saying. It doesn't matter since the music can do the talking for them and it goes down well with the crowd who keep dancing and crowd surfing.

The group is great at playing the groovy hypnotic songs that seem to drift between prog rock and garage rock with a jazzy twist here and then, some of them driven by bluesy harmonica. Mackenzie plays the flute on some songs which is a nice touch, but also a risky one since it's a controversial instrument that is not everyone's favourite. But songs like 'Trapdoor', 'Hot Wax' and the wonderful 'The River' are a delight to hear live while sipping one of those wonderful beers. Apparently some of us had a bit more than just a few beers, as one guy climbs the top of the bar, to make a giant dive into the crowd from quite a big height while the band shake their heads to keep him from doing it. It sounds crazy but he could have hurt other people and himself for that matter. For the encore Mackenzie returns all by himself for an acoustic song to end the night in style. Even though it's not the perfect location for a rock concert, the brewery definitely is one with the right vibes and with a band like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard you really can't go wrong.

All Pictures

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