It’s been exactly 1 year since this rockin’ night with King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard at College Street Music Hall in New Haven, CT. Sadly, they haven’t been able to make it back to the States, and I’ve sure missed having the chance to revel in the power of their live performance since.
I like to hit shows with my camera when I can, as I enjoy photography and videography, and love the music, so it’s a fun mix for me. This footage is a compilation of the video I took that night, mostly from the front row of the balcony. The camera audio isn’t great, and not surprisingly got blown out a bit by the sheer power of the sound, but I cleaned it up as best I can. I dig trying to capture quality audio as well, but I didn’t have any separate device with me that night. Definitely a fun look back on one of the shows from the killer Summer 2019 tour, and in 4k!
Thanks for stopping by! If you dig this, you might enjoy some of my original music on this site, including my 2 solo albums, Break The Code (2018) and SYZYGY (2020) and a few videos embedded here. Also, check out more King Gizzard photos from Brooklyn Steel 2018 and Webster Hall 2017 below. Hope you enjoy the photos, videos, and music. Keep rockin’!
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard pulled into Brooklyn for 3 nights back in June. I was psyched for this run, having seen them last year at Webster Hall. King Gizzard is a killer live band, and these shows did not disappoint. Brooklyn Steel, which hosted the run, was a suitable venue for the band, providing a spacious stage space and good sound and sight lines throughout the venue.
Highlights included blistering versions of Muddy Water, Evil Death Roll, and Crumbling Castle. On night two, the band treated the audience with a rare rendition of Head On/Pill. NYC taper captured audio of the second night which you can download here. These guys from Australia are the hottest live band playing currently. After releasing 5 albums last year, this year they’re putting in some quality time on stage and honing their live show. I took these photos across all 3 nights.
Just about five months since The Baker’s Dozen, Phish made their “triumphant return” to Madison Square Garden for the 2017-2018 New Year’s Run. Phish has taken over MSG as their home venue, arguably taking that title from Billy Joel, who’s “consecutive show” record they broke over the summer. I’ve seen so many of my favorite bands at MSG, from The Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Van Halen, Black Sabbath, to my very first MSG experience, Rush (12/7/1991). This New Year’s Eve marked my 43rd Phish show at The Garden, having caught all or part of each run there since 12/30/1994. So many incredible memories made in that building. Those at the shows back then might notice some signs age creeping into the dance moves and the music, but the celebration of life and sonic adventures continue.
Here’s a compilation video from 12/28/2017 that highlights some of the awesome lighting from the night…
12/28/2017 Photo Gallery
12/29/2017 Photo Gallery
12/30/2017 Photo Gallery
Some people may wonder why anyone would go see a band perform so much. While they put on a “show” by any definition, Phish shows are different. Unlike a typical “concert experience”, they’re a gathering of friends and a meeting of the minds of people open to and moved by the same adventurous soundscapes, made by musicians willing to take a chance, in hopes of an ecstatic payoff that we can’t help but be delighted by. Phish also brings to the table an enormously deep catalog of music that was the soundtrack to some our most thrilling experiences, and like music in general, a beacon of hope in times of struggle. The guys on stage must feel this more than anyone. Though the windshield is a little dirty, the idiot light comes on from time to time, and sometimes we’re stranded searching for a pencil to hold the choke open to get the engine started, I’m grateful we’re still their companions on this ride.
12/31/2017 Photo Gallery
Chris Kuroda is really working magic with the lights. The light rig used this year is incredible, which makes it so much fun to watch and try to capture.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy the photos and music on my site. While you’re here, I hope you’ll check out my new album of original music, Break The Code. It’s coming out September 28, 2018, but you can listen to it right here…
Check it out! One of my photos was used by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference in their 2017 annual appeal mailer.
I’m glad to support this organization who’s volunteers maintain more than 2,150 miles of trails in the NY-NJ area!
A couple of my photos were selected for display as part of the 2016 ‘A View From the Trail’ photo exhibition at the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Headquarters in Mahwah, NJ. The photos selected were taken at one of my favorite areas to hike, the Hudson Highlands, around Beacon, NY. Whenever I visit this area, I find the natural beauty and energy striking. Both photos were taken in the fall of 2015. One was taken of the entire region from atop the Mt. Beacon Fire Tower. That was an exhilarating hike, and the fall colors were fully saturated.
Here’s a video taken at the top of the tower, a little shaky, but gives some perspective.
The second photo displayed at the exhibition was of Breakneck Ridge, taken from Denning’s Point State Park. Denning’s Point is one of my very favorite places to visit in the area. The views of the Gateway to the Hudson Highlands, where Breakneck Ridge sits across from Storm King Mountain along the Hudson River, are incredible.
Last month the Trail Conference contacted me and asked if they could use this photo in their promotional material, which I was happy to let them use.
I’ve taken so many photos in this area, I’ll probably do a post just on Denning’s Point sometime. For now, here’s one of my favorite, incredibly timed photos of a train passing through across from Denning’s Point. The speed of the train vanishing into the trees, the shutter speed, and when it was snapped all came together to create this photo. An exciting capture, love it when things come together in interesting ways.
Twenty years ago today, Phish wrapped up one of their most revered fall tours. I caught the final night of the tour in Albany, NY, at the former Knickerbocker Arena, cleverly renamed Pepsi Arena. This was my second visit to see Phish in Albany, having attended one of the all time favorite shows there on 12/9/1995. On this final night of the tour, they opened with a cool an unusual jammed out version of Ya Mar, and played a memorable Mike’s Song that included a chant to “Bring in the Dude” that inspired some unique musical hijinx.
Before smart phones, and even for a few years when cell phone cameras were new, cameras were strictly prohibited at concerts. At the time, my interest in music and photography sometimes led me to evade the rules and stealthily bring a camera to the show, as I did this night. Using a late 90’s era point and shoot camera, the results were usually not great, but I managed to capture a few decent shots that bring back some fun memories and give a glimpse of the scene at Phish in 1997, including the monster light rig from this era.
I was traveling back from a gig on the prior Sunday, so I missed “Jimmies” night, which happened to be the night they managed to play ALL of the songs I was hoping to catch during the run (The Curtain With, Esther, Col. Forbin’s > Famous Mockingbird, David Bowie, Harpua) and one of my favorite jams of the run during “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing”… just listening to this on the stream, it was clear they were adventurous and locked in. Upon hearing that, I went directly to Ticketmaster.com to secure tickets for Tues and Weds, and started working on tickets for the final weekend which was sold out.
The donut this night wasn’t actually a donut, but donut “Holes”. Hinting at the theme, they opened with “Way Down in the Hole” the theme to The Wire, originally by Tom Waits.
Great opening set, which included favorites “Guyute” and “Meat”, and featured Trey on drums and Fish on the vacuum for “I Didn’t Know”.
During the second set “Mike’s Song”, they took a spacey detour and as haze billowed from the stage they went into “O Holy Night”. WHAT? This was really bizarre to be hearing, but in a moment I got it… “O HOLY Night” another nod to the Holes theme (which I explained to a few others who didn’t quite get it at the time).
They capped off the night with one more nod to holes by covering “A Day In The Life” by The Beatles, which include the lyrics “now we know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall”. After 10 nights, the band was still on a roll and delivering something entirely different every night.
Thanks to Mike and Adam for hooking me up with tickets during the final weekend. It was a 13 night run for the ages, commemorated with a banner hanging from the rafters of Madison Square Garden!
Who would have thought these guys would achieve that?
I didn’t take many pictures at the final shows of the run, but here are a couple from Sat 8/5.
Just another Tuesday night of Phish at Madison Square Garden. At the prior weeknight shows there was a black curtain closing off behind the stage, as the seats were not sold in those sections. Once Phish completed the first week of it’s residency at MSG, people started wondering “is this still Lawn Boy?” and they opened up the behind the stage seating on the weeknights and completely sold out the rest of the run. The final night I was offered a “$5000” Jerry Garcia action figure (yeah, right.) in trade for a ticket, and overhead people saying it was the hardest ticket since the first shows of the return at Hampton 2009.
The donut this night was “Maple”, and the show started out somewhat slow and grew into a steady flow of drippy sweet jams. The second set was one of my favorites that I attended. Here’s a video including the Marimba Lumina / percussion break during 46 Days…
I was all over The Garden this night, from Mike side, to the Madison Club and front row behind the stage…
I caught the “Jam Filled” performance Phish gave last Tuesday, July 25, at Madison Square Garden. This was the 4th performance of 13 they are currently playing at MSG that make up the Baker’s Dozen run. Each night the band is giving out a limited number of donuts at the doors. This night’s donut was “Jam Filled”, and the show they played was just that. The run really heated up, with jammed out performances of some unusual songs, like Lawn Boy. Typically a 3 minute crooner, it clocked in at over 30 minutes with some tasty improvisation jammed inside! At this point, it’s clear the band is on their way to play all 13 nights with out repeating any songs. I can hardly think of another band that could play 13 nights at MSG. Forget about one that would play a completely unique set list every night. Only Phish.
Back in March, while riding my stationary bike, I was listening to The Goddamn Dave Hill Show on WFMU and sweating to a song that I did not know… at some points I thought it sounded like some of the notes of the melody were out of tune, but in a way that seemed to work. It was a song called Sleep Drifter off of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s 9th studio LP “Flying Microtonal Banana”. This band has 9 albums out? I had not heard of them, but I was highly intrigued. King Gizzard is from Australia, and on this album they employed microtonal guitars, which is why some of the notes sound ‘out of tune’. This is my favorite album of the year so far, and word is the band has four more to put out this year. I really dig the dark guitar riffs, double drums, and the overall sound of the record. After hearing the one song, I checked out a bunch of their albums and was really impressed by what I heard and the diversity of their sound. I saw they were playing Webster Hall the next week, so I had to check it out. Here are some photos I took at the show…
I also recommend checking out the albums I’m In Your Mind Fuzz, Nonagon Infinity, and if you like a more acoustic sound Paper Mâché Dream Balloon is a fantastic album. While they seem to be developing a signature sound, they also cross a lot of boundaries. Here are a couple of my favorite tracks/albums…
Earlier this month Black Sabbath finished up their year long “The End” tour. I caught the beginning of the tour at MSG, which was one of my favorite shows of 2016. I’ve been a Sabbath fan for a long time. If you play electric guitar, how can you not? I know it’s not the same without Bill Ward, but since this tour seemed like a final chance to see Tony Iommi play guitar in the US before he stops touring, I had to go. I had never seen any incarnation of them live. While I listened to a lot of Heavy Metal growing up, by the time I was seeing concerts, my musical interest had changed.
I didn’t expect to feel as strongly about the show as I did. I went in casually ready to dig some classic Sabbath tunes live, but from the first notes of the first song, Black Sabbath, I had chills. The crushing riffs and sound was a reminder of what first inspired me to play guitar, and it was LOUD! The band just rocked The Garden through and through.
Ozzy sounded good, better than I expected, especially since they had cancelled a few date at the beginning of the tour due to him being sick. Geezer is a force of the bass, a distinct foundation to the sound of Black Sabbath. Tommy Clufetos hit the mark behind the kit, and he hit it hard. Tony Iommi is one of my favorite guitarists, and the mastermind behind so many incredibly powerful, seminal guitar riffs. Watching him play live was even more of a thrill than I anticipated.
I saw some of the most sincere “sign of the horns” I’ve ever witnessed being made throughout the arena, and of course I contributed as well! Heavy Metal knows no age.
There is some great audio of the first night floating around, which I mixed with some video I shot during the show you can check out here…
Photos by Steve Leonard