King Gizzard: The Salt Shed Premieres

Blog courtesy of acclaimed music journalist, and Gizz-superfan, Jonathan Cohen

Watch our Youtube playlist featuring clips from their 13-show marathon, and listen to the full show audio from their 6/11 Salt Shed Show. Read more about the entire marathon of shows in Cohen’s full Summer Tour write-up.

The Salt Shed – Chicago, IL

The first night of a three-show run in the Windy City on June 11 says a lot about live Gizzard circa 2023: 14 songs from 12 different albums, dabbling in everything from weird microtonal rock (the opening combo of “O.N.E.” and “Pleura”), top-shelf thrash (“Motor Spirit” and “Gaia,” the latter dedicated to none other than John Mayer) and Grateful Dead-worthy sonic explorations (“The River”). The sludgy “The Great Chain of Being” appears for the first time on the residency tour, while an extended “Boogieman Sam” (with teases of five different other songs) wraps the evening with hip-shaking, harmonica-flavored vibes.

Tour debuts abound on June 12, from the simmering, microtonal “Honey” and the chugga-wugga blast “Road Train” to the herky-jerky “Invisible Face” (its first complete performance ever) and finale “Am I in Heaven?” “Hate Dancin’” and “Astroturf” are back to get the bodies moving, “Shanghai” is a super atmospheric jam, and three songs from 2017’s “Polygondwanaland” (“Inner Cell,” “Loyalty,” “Horology”) demonstrate Gizzard’s uncanny ability to morph one similar-sounding riff into 10 minutes of beautiful, creeping dread.

Day-long rain can’t deter the Gizzard faithful at the Chicago finale on June 13, and they’re rewarded with the live debut of the rhythmically obtuse “Change” from “Changes” (“fuck, are we really doing this?,” the band asks aloud). A 10-minute-plus “Hot Water” wanders all over the place before unexpectedly segueing into the always satisfying Krautrock epic “Hypertension,” and the fan favorite, Cook “Cookie” Craig-sung “The Garden Goblin” affords Gizzard the chance to reminisce about Australian hardware store chain Bunnings and the animated kids show “Bluey.” “The Dripping Tap” sends the soggy crowd home humming “drip drip from the tap / don’t slip on the drip” after 19 minutes of blissed-out, major key rock’n’roll.

Jonathan Cohen is a music journalist, editor and author of the New York Times-bestselling authorized biography of Pearl Jam, 2011’s “Pearl Jam 20.” He previously served as the music booker for the first six years of Jimmy Fallon’s NBC late night show, where he oversaw the debut U.S. TV appearances of Tame Impala, Kendrick Lamar, Tyler, the Creator, Frank Ocean, Lorde, Kacey Musgraves, and Ed Sheeran. He also plays keyboards in the band Chamberlain.