This was the first time I would see both opener band LizZard and the Adrian Belew Power Trio live. I never heard the music of LizZard so I was very curious how they would sound like. I know Adrian Belew’s work with King Crimson and have heard some of his solo albums as well. Still, I had no clue what to expect that evening and which music he would play.
LizZard is just like the Adrian Belew Power Trio a band that has three members, including female musician Katy Elwell on drums (which always gets a big plus from me). Mathieu Ricou is the guitarist and lead vocalist. William Knox plays the bass and also provides the background vocals. Sadly William had to deal with a big problem while they just started to play. The strap of his bass guitar came loose and it seems like it couldn’t be fixed. Luckily one of the crew members of the venue provided him duct tape to ‘fix’ the strap back on the bass guitar. Sadly the tape wasn’t helping so Mathieu grabbed a stool and gave it to William, which continued playing while sitting.
The band itself plays very tight. The music is heavy but also knows a lot of more serene, ambient like moments. It reminds me of Tool from time to time. Mathieu was the spokesman that evening when it came to interacting with the audience and making announcements. He also thanked the venue and the audience.
The music the band played can’t be compared with the music Adrian Belew makes, so it was a surprising combination to make this band the opener band for the evening. Somehow it was a great opener for that evening, the audience really enjoyed the show, and I really enjoyed it as well. I hope this band will tour more often in the near future.
Adrian Belew Power Trio:
Power Trio drummer Tobias Ralph used the same drum kit Katy used during her performance with LizZard. That the opener band uses the same drum kit as the headliner is something I haven’t seen much often at the venue. When the band started to play it was an instant hit! Tobias is a fantastic drummer and Julie Slick is a phenomenon on bass. I also loved her stage outfit with her dinosaur shirt and leggings. Adrian Belew luckily didn’t suffer too much from his cold (when I interviewed him backstage before the gig he told me he suffered from a cold). He was very interactive with the audience and had a lot of fun while playing and making announcements. He was surprised that so many people showed up for the show and even made a joke about the fact that if something goes wrong that there’s an ambulance outside anyway.
The band played a lot of King Crimson tracks, but also performed music from Adrian Belew’s solo work. The sound of the Crimson tracks really came close to the original sound of the tracks in my opinion. When they started to play Frame By Frame I had goosebumps! After that track Tobias gave away a powerful drum solo. Sometimes Adrian was improvising on his guitar and ‘tricking’ the band members, trying to get them out of their rhythm. He used his loop station and a lot of guitar effects to get the right sounds. He also amused the audience by pretending his guitar doesn’t work correctly when he used some special guitar effects to make it sound like his guitar was broken.
The band played two separate sets with a small break in between. They also came back for an encore, which was the King Crimson track Indiscipline. The audience really loved it, they gave the band a lot of cheers. I also enjoyed the show a lot. Julie and Tobias are amazing musicians and Adrian is a mad man and wizard on the guitar. I know, it’s still a bit too early to say this but this show was the best gig of 2016 I’ve seen so far!
I interviewed Adrian Belew and LizZard before their gig. You can listen to the interviews here!
Mathieu Ricou – Guitars & Lead Vocals
William Knox – Bass Guitar & Backing Vocals
Katy Elwell – Drums & Percussion
The Roots Within
Tear Down The Sky
Adrian Belew Power Trio are:
Adrian Belew – Guitars & Vocals
Julie Slick – Bass Guitar
Tobias Ralph – Drums & Percussion
Big Electric Cat
Men In Helicopters
The Lone Rhinoceros
Dinosaur (King Crimson cover)
One Time (King Crimson cover)
Three Of A Perfect Pair (King Crimson cover)
Frame By Frame (King Crimson cover)
Beat Box Guitar
Heartbeat (King Crimson cover)
Walk On Air (King Crimson cover)
Of Bow And Drum
Neurotica (King Crimson cover)
Indiscipline (King Crimson cover)
You can read my review on Background Magazine:
All photos by me.