The only thing anyone expects from a Halloween show is the unexpected. To this cause, the experimental psych-electronica of Black Moth Super Rainbow was a stellar booking for the holiday; no other band has quite the same reputation for being enigmatic and mysterious, with appropriately evil-sounding effects and distortion. Things could've gotten downright strange; unfortunately, they never crossed much past odd. [Text by Deborah, photos by Mike.]
The crowd at Crowbar didn't disappoint, stepping up the game with more clever costumes than most of us see these days. We've been so numbed by hordes of slutty *fill-in-the-blank's* that the extra effort is that much more appreciated. Top picks of the evening: Abe Lincoln, Zombie Sanitation Department Worker, and, no less than two unicorn heads (which, by the by, make a killer addition to a sea of bobbing heads).
Just before the band came onstage, the crowd started chanting "let's get weird" over the recorded drum beats, confirming it was why we'd all come. Knowing that Tom Fec (aka Tobacco) is extremely private and a bit eclectic, no one was expecting outrageous showmanship; in fact, the band members often performs in masks. It was also a given that we'd never hear Tobacco's real voice, as vocals would be distorted by the ever-present vocoder throughout the set. What I wasn't expecting was to barely see the vocalist at all. From start to finish, the artist was hidden behind draped equipment with just the slightest peek of his baseball cap bobbing up and down. I was hoping he'd put on one of the few masks tossed in front of him and move around a bit at some point, but they remained littered around him as makeshift decoration while he steadfastly never really moved at all. With Tobacco's contributions completely hidden, I focused my attention on guitarist Ryan Graveface and bassist Bullsmear. It's tough to tell from the studio albums that a ton of the signature BMSR sound comes from bass effects and a handful of analog keyboards.
The appeal of the music is undeniable, however, inducing early crowd surfing, fist pumping and genuine movement (as opposed to the polite head bobbing that could've set the tone). Opening with a pair from the Psychic Love Damage EP, set highlights were mostly songs from the recently released Cobra Juicy; the darkly driving "Hairspray Heart" and "I Think I'm Evil" were definitely my favorites in a live setting. Unfortunately they skipped the atmospheric "Like a Sundae" with its early Air-inspired sound, but "I Think It's Beautiful" and "Sun Lips" filled that niche quite well. Closing song, "Spiracle" (off their joint 2006 release with The Octopus Project) was a nice touch as well, but it was the driving guitars of "Windshield Smasher" that I'd been waiting for all night.
All in all, BMSR didn't disappoint in the least, and delivered plenty of treats, if not nearly enough tricks.
The Wettest Day
I Think It's Beautiful
Psychic Love Damage
The Healing Power of Nothing
I Think I'm Evil
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