Setlist Notation

Phase 1 of is in full swing, and the response to the site has been great so far. Thank you to everyone who has used it! The team has grown significantly since the launch of Phase 1. Welcome to our new contributors who are getting the blog rolling, proofreaders, curators, archivists, and specialists from across the community. The site is growing in many small ways from aesthetic and navigation features, to expanding on existing content, and it is already time for another update on some of our bigger projects:

Band Sanctioned Lyrics We have now made our first contact with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard themselves! This was to ask permission for us to publish their lyrics here on the site, which they have graciously provided. Thank you to the band, Michelle, and to everyone who facilitated the contact. We had recognized that no one place held a practical and accurate library of all King Gizzard lyrics, so we decided to fill that need. The lyrics have been carefully transcribed from the physical album sleeves (which contain plenty of mistakes anyway!), and cross referenced with Genius, Discogs, and the recordings of the songs. You may find they have been contracted compared to how they are sung. This matches the album sleeves and is done to increase readability by removing excess repetition. You will also find our discography information pages have been updated with tracklists linking to lyrics pages, performer credits, and other relevant text from the sleeves.

Associated Music Projects In the endless effort to expand on informative King Gizzard content, we have launched a list of side projects, prior bands, associates, friends, and even new bands influenced by the Gizz. The King Gizzard network is huge; and once again we couldn’t find one comprehensive place for all this information, so what better opportunity to make one.

Advanced Setlist Notation A big goal for Phase 1 is to bring every setlist up to its maximum potential detail and accuracy. This means manually reviewing each and every available recording and comparing notes as a team, something we are hard at work at and loving. We have now completed this starting from the current most recent show back to night one at Red Rocks. This period contains the most significant part of their last North America tour, which caused the fanbase to explode into a jam-type scene and inspired the formation of this site, and was the prompt to make this update.

The fans of jam bands tend to develop a unique dialect for describing exactly why any given setlist or live moment is special, and our listening exercise is the perfect way to kickstart this process for the many diverse types of King Gizz jams already out there. Newcomers to the tape scene may be confused at what exactly they are reading — or perhaps even more so — the most grizzled Deadhead may disagree with one of our notations because it goes against something that may have been standard for decades. We cannot claim to be the arbiters of the King Gizz jam scene, so we of course welcome input (with reasoning and examples!). Here is a glossary for what we have found so far:


This is a musical reference to, or an element from one song contained within another song. It can be a melody, riff, chord progression, or any other intentionally recognisable song element. King Gizz have often done this through their career, but 2022 saw a massive increase in the frequency and diversity of these teases. It is most commonly done between longer, ‘jammier’ songs such as Head On/Pill, or The Dripping Tap, or songs that are compositionally similar such as the I’m In Your Mind Fuzz suite. Occasionally songs from other artists may be teased, such as the frequent use of Hawkwind’s “Master of the Universe” during Robot Stop throughout 2017. This is only noted as a significant live moment; certain songs may already contain elements of other songs in the studio versions (such as the many cross-references between songs in Nonagon Infinity and therefore are not noteworthy when played live.

Example: Jan 6 2023 at New Plymouth, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Joey begins playing a riff from The Dripping Tap within I’m Not In Your Mind :

Dripping Tap tease @ 5:34 Non-example: Oct 27 2022 at the Orpheum Theater in New Orleans, the band begin an extended jam within Evil Death Roll with improvised elements that are reminiscent of, but not quite the same as Hypertension.

Evil Death Roll jam Quote

Similar to a tease, this is when lyrics from one song are sung within another. This can be done either isolated to or in conjunction with a tease. In general usage of the term, a musical quote is not confined only to lyrics and applies more like our definition of tease above. We believe the way that King Gizzard separately apply music and lyrics from different songs necessitates separate definitions in order to better convey what makes particular live versions unique and have landed on these two terms based on existing precedent in live music notation.

Example: On Oct 11 2022 (Red Rocks night 2), during Boogieman Sam, Ambrose sung lyrics from: Cut Throat Boogie, “My Babe” (Little Walter), “Got My Mojo Workin’” (Ann Cole), and “Going Up the Country” (Canned Heat). The band also teased Sleepwalker during the song:

Boogieman Sam with other quotes Segue

A segue is the connection of two different songs. Much like King Gizz often do in their studio albums, this is also done live to string multiple songs together into medleys or seamless portions of the set. Totally separate songs (where the music stops and there is a noticeable gap before the start of the next), are designated by a comma within a setlist. There are two types of segues, designated by either a > or a -> symbol:

Partial Segue: >

In a partial segue, typically the previous song is completed and the next started as written, but the music never truly stops in between perhaps connected with an isolated drum pattern breakdown or sustained chord. Two separate songs but with a consistent flow through the setlist. In the studio discography, this is comparable to the transition between Altered Beast I and Alter Me I from Murder Of The Universe, though not necessarily reflective of how either or both of those songs may be played and connected live.

Example: Dec 10 2022 at The Palace Foreshore, Naarm (Melbourne), a partial segue was used between Hypertension and Ice V. The song clearly ends, but one guitar is intentionally sustained through the brief applause and quickly continues in a riff to introduce the next song:

segue between Hypertension > Ice V Total segue: ->

The total segue is a complete connection of two songs, where the first is still in progress but a new song has begun sometimes before you realise. Teases and Jams are convenient ways to foreshadow or achieve this. This is more like two songs connected into one longer song. The difference between the two types of segues is relatively subjective and usually decided on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the available recording, the total segue is much less common and the deciding factor is most often whether a solid, intentional drum beat continues through the transition, though preferably the whole band continues playing in the same arrangement with no change apart from the song that they are playing. In the studio discography, this is comparable to the transition between Invisible Face and Wah Wah from Nonagon Infinity, again, not necessarily reflective of how those songs may be played and connected live.

Example: Dec 29 2022, Summer Haze Festical Aotearoa (New Zealand) during Robot Stop, after a brief jam Stu puts down his guitar, picks up the flute, and the band seamlessly segue into Hot Water. They play enough of the song for it to earn a place in the setlist (even with its own small jam), and then transition back into Robot Stop just as smoothly.

smooth segue from Robot Stop -> Hot Water Jam

A jam is an extended, improvised segment within a song that deviates significantly from the studio recording. Shorter jams can blur the lines between song segues or even teases, depending on just how close they get to a written, recorded version. This is an area that gets particularly subjective and can come down to how the band is feeling during a particular performance. Other jam bands may distinguish between different types of jams depending on how ‘deep’ or far they get from a given song as written or if they are even not based on composed music at all, but we are of the opinion that King Gizz only jam ‘inside’ existing songs (so far). They occasionally use this process to ‘write’ their songs in studio (such as for Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms, And Lava), then go back and re-learn what they did later, so we can be sure they will take this next step live on stage sometime in the future.

Example: On October 22 2022 at Franklin Music Hall, Philadelphia, during Evil Death Roll, the band started an improvised jam that drew out over several minutes, until teases of Hypertension began, which then quickly descended into the whole band playing that song briefly inside Evil Death Roll. This was clearly a warm-up preview, as Hypertension would properly debut the next night. The element that distinguishes this from teases and a segue into the second song is simply the length and improvised nature of the section that led into it, and the smooth return back to Evil Death Roll at the end. There may be instances of Song A -> Song B -> Song A, but this would be notated as such when done with less improvisation, and when the entirety of Song B is played.

Hypertension jam within Evil Death Roll We have already mentioned subjectivity more than once. As any experienced jam band fan will know, there are always points of contention in how these terms apply. It is even possible that they all apply to one situation, such as if the rhythm section finish a song while someone maintains semi-improvised noodling and another band member decides to riff into a microphone while everyone else picks it all back up. Alternatively, none may apply. While in general the band are recreating recorded songs we know and love, there will always be fundamental variations in every performance that are not worth noting because they are taken as given, this is the nature and excitement of a live show. In these cases, other terms such as ‘theme’, ‘motif’, ‘variation’, ‘vamp’, ‘hint’, ‘flirt’ or any others may be casually used with less definition.

The Growing Taping Scene and It is important to remember the end goal in all of this defining and notating — to share and enjoy incredible King Gizz live performances and explore just what makes them so special. If a particular moment turns out to be contentious, this is most likely because it was so ambiguous in the first place, and therefore has little bearing on this goal. This way of listening to the band relies on dedicated live show tapers who freely provide us all with this audio at significant cost and investment of time, for the love of the culture and the music. From a legal/copyright perspective, it all operates in a grey-area based on specific allowances from each venue and a general blessing from the band. This only works as long as we are considerate and respectful of the work and content produced by others, who at the very least always deserve credit for their effort and may each have a preffered way their work is shared and used. is an amazing non-profit resource to preserve and access countless priceless recordings for everyone. Since the King Gizzard taping community started getting popular in late 2022, the site has been overwhelmed with an influx of low quality and innacurately categorised recordings. It appears that many people are ripping recordings that they do not own or have permission to share from Youtube, and pushing them straight to Archive without even checking if the metadata is correct. Archive is a library. If you do not understand or care about the importance of properly preparing and tagging files, you are likely doing more damage than good. King Gizzard are already infinitely generous with giving permission and the Official Bootlegger program. The least we can all do is show respect for the work of the band and the people who take the time to record their live performances, in the process producing a permanent record that will be better enjoyed. With the current state of the King Gizzard section, it is becoming necessary for them to purge these low quality recordings and run the risk of losing things in the mess. If you are aware of something that should be uploaded to the archive, it is entirely necessary to use the original lossless sources and therefore contact the recording owner. If they do not consent for it to be uploaded, then that is not for anyone else to take into their own hands. This live-focused style of playing that draws this culture is new to the band, who are clearly learning more every time they step on stage or into the studio. It is on us all to grow with them and learn how to best enjoy their music. Roadmap There are no significant updates on long term goals for Phase 2 and beyond. An accompanying environmental non-profit organisation, and our custom setlist database are constantly being planned and developed, but they are both significantly large projects that need to be done right the first time. In the mean time, they will continue simmering in the background while we continue to iterate on our existing features and content. There is plenty of blog content in the pipeline (including an exclusive and very exciting interview) that you will hear about as it arrives shortly, so stay tuned for that.

As always, if you have any feeback or even an idea for how you can contribute to, let us know at [email protected] or our social media. Otherwise, please continue enjoying and sharing the site; it has been so thrilling learning how people are using it, and exciting how many are regularly doing so. team

Powered by Songfish