King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard Perform In Drag To Celebrate Pride Night

5 June 2023 | 9:51 am | Mary Varvaris

“This is the first and last time you’ll ever see me onstage in shorts."

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard @ Caverns Amphitheater

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard @ Caverns Amphitheater (Credit: tinytrunx & scarlet.devine on Instagram)

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Every member of King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard was dressed in drag on Saturday night (3 June), as the band ripped through another unpredictable set at the Caverns Amphitheatre in Tennessee.

While guitarist Joey Walker stated that the band wasn’t protesting the state’s recent anti-drag laws (“This ain’t no protest, baby. This is a celebration!”, he said per Spin), their show happened just hours after a federal judge ruled that the new law was unconstitutional.

“This is the first and last time you’ll ever see me onstage in shorts,” keyboardist Ambrose Kenny-Smith joked on stage, telling the audience, “Take some mental notes.” You can check out the footage below.

During the show, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard premiered another track from their upcoming metal release, PetroDragonic Apocalypse, called Witchcraft. A Black Sabbath-inspired number, the new track follows the previously-released track, Gila Monster, and shows that the Melbourne outfit are at their coolest when they get heavy.

King Gizzard aren’t the only ones embracing drag. Two weeks ago, Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan also appeared dressed in drag during the band’s headline slot at Welcome To Rockville in Florida.

The mega festival took place in Daytona, Florida – the state where Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed an anti-drag bill and made it law. 

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Despite his insistence that dressing in drag had nothing to do with Florida’s new law in a recent interview, Keenan did condemn the action and said, “I think limiting people’s access to anything is absurd. 

"Good parenting allows you to teach your kids how to be reasonable and reason and puzzle things out and decide for themselves what the fuck they wanna see or not wanna see.”

While his drag outfit was technically against Florida law, Keenan hasn’t gotten into any trouble yet. "Nobody's enforcing it,” he said. "They just do that and they throw it out there to shore up their base for an election year." You can read Keenan’s full interview with The Messenger here.

King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard will release their new double album, PetroDragonic Apocalypse; Or, Dawn Of Eternal Night: An Annihilation Of Planet Earth And The Beginning Of Merciless Damnation, next Friday (16 June).

“When we made [Infest The] Rats Nest [released in 2019], it felt experimental,” Stu Mackenzie said in a press release. “Like, ‘Here’s this music that some of us grew up on but we’d never had the guts or confidence to really play before, so let’s give it a go and see what happens’."

He continued, "And when we made that album we were like, ‘Fuck, why did it take us so long to do this?’ It’s just so much fun to play that music, and those songs work so well when we play them live. So we always had it in our minds to make another metal record.”

You can pre-order PetroDragonic Apocalypse here.