Black Moth Super Rainbow, The Hood Internet, Oscillator Bug Fitzgerald's May 29, 2013
As I walked up the stairs to Fitz last night I was greeted by a pleasant sound. I had arrived to the Black Moth Super Rainbow show early, and got a nice surprise in opening act Oscillator Bug.
When you are eagerly awaiting a band that you enjoy, it's not often that the opener satisfies your musical proclivities. But Oscillator Bug (a.k.a. Max Rockwell) actually did. Performing along with a sequencer and a mike slung around his neck, OB screamed into the microphone over psych-pop beats that reminded me of some of the less-radio friendly Flaming Lips tracks on Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. That's not quite a fair comparison, though, because OB's music was far darker and less precious than the Lips'. Listening to him gave me the sensation of being underwater.
The whole time I kept wondering what the weird handmade metal backdrop behind him was. It didn't seem to serve any purpose, until second act The Hood Internet took the stage.
The Internet tells me the Chicago duo is known for mixing hip-hop and indie rock, and they certainly brought the party, but I SWEAR there was only one guy on stage (see picture).
"Houston, how ya doing?" he asked. "Bout to get a Wednesday night dance party started for ya." The handmade backdrop then turned into a pretty rad light show while the DJ played crowd favorites like old-school Snoop Dog.
I was thinking to myself that such an upbeat opener was a little too much for a band like Black Moth Super Rainbow until I remembered that Black Moth's newest album, Cobra Juicy, is a lot more dance-y than their previous release. In the end, it all made sense.
The last time I tried to see Black Moth Super Rainbow (this was also the first time I tried to see them), it was a post-festival show at Club de Ville in Austin, and I was pooped. I ended up going home after the first few songs because I literally could not stand anymore. Which was disappointing.
Last night's lineup was virtually the same as the Austin show :Thomas Fec, a.k.a. Tobacco, helming the group with his awkward front man ways, never addressing nor even really looking at the audience, face hidden by a baseball cap pulled tightly down. A guitarist who reminded me of J. Mascis in the way that he swung from side to side while playing. A bassist in the shadows. Petite keyboardist The Seven Fields of Aphelion and drummer Iffernaut (wearing a ninja mask) added most of the liveliness onstage.
Earlier this month in my interview with Tobacco, he mentioned his prized vintage vocoder, a key component to the band's sound.
Less than a week later, while on tour in St. Louis, the band's van was broken into and their gear stolen.
Tour van broken into tonight in St Louis, vocoder stolen. Tour in limbo.If by chance anyone hears anything, please get in touch
— TOBACCO (@maniacmeat) May 15, 2013
Fec took to Twitter frantically searching for a 24-hour junk shop or someone from whom he could buy a replacement, at one point saying the "tour was in limbo".
The band must have worked out the kinks, because last night's show turned into a full-on psychedelic freakout.
Personal Bias: Good to finally see them live.
The Crowd: So young, and so, so annoying, in that way that teenagers are.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Tobacco, I love you." By a dude.
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Random Notebook Dump: The Flobots were playing downstairs and upstairs was near-capacity for BMSR. It was a good night for Fitz.