Concert Review: BMSR’s Tobacco Unleashes Demons, Plays Sold-out Show to His Hometown 2/22/13
Black lights illuminated the black, green, and orange bright geometric patterns up the walls and ceiling of the narrow stairs leading to the second tier of the venue at Lawrenceville’s Brillobox. Only a pre-purchased ticket, an ID and a stamped star stood between Tobacco fans and his entrancing sound backed by intergalactic pornography.
On Friday night, Black Moth Super Rainbow’s solo act, Tobacco, played a sold out show to his hometown Pittsburgh, PA to experiment with and unveil his new demonic melodies.
Standing on a black and white floor reminiscent of a Masonic checkerboard shoulder to shoulder with people, boxed in a sea of black walls with intricate black swirls truly brought the Facebook description for the event to life: “Join us for an intimate sweaty show where we test out some satanic new material.”
Fans got anxious and inched forward as the projector displayed a DVD menu, queuing Tobacco to appear in his regularly inconspicuous attire with a bandana-masked face. Just as Black Moth Super Rainbow played trippy films with clips of Tyra Banks’s face and 1980’s workout tapes at the free Carnegie Mellon University show back in spring 2009, the live music of Tobacco also had a backdrop boasting creativity screaming horror, aliens and sex.
And then it began with “Fresh Hex”- Tobacco’s duet with Beck off of the album Maniac Meat. To much surprise, or lack there of, Tobacco was accompanied by the presence of his Black Moth bandmate The Seven Fields of Aphelion. Their sound cohesively is complementary and powerful- particularly Friday evening resonating off of the decorated walls in Brillobox. Tobacco took fans in a time machine with Seven Fields playing “Side-8” which is on both on Black Moth’s 2006 Lost Picking Flowers in the Woods and later refurbished “Big Gums Version” on Tobacco’s solo album Fucked Up Friends. Another fortunate moment for Black Moth fans Friday night was hearing Dandelion Gum’s “Sun Lips.” Tobacco fans also got to revel in his own earlier work besides “Fresh Hex” such as “Sweatmother,” “Pink Goo,” “Motor Licker,” “Constellation Dirtbike Head,” “Overheater” and “Lick the Witch.” From Fucked Up Friends was an exclusive, live remixed edition of “Creepy Phone Calls” which received warm praise from the crowd. Amongst the familiarity, the majority of the show was new material which pointed towards Tobacco’s intentions for the performance according to his Twitter account on January 14:
“I’m doing a tobac show in pittsburgh feb 22 to work out some new stuff. the spot doesn’t hold too many so ticket link coming when we get it”
The new Tobacco songs the lucky ears heard at Brillobox Friday night are to be released on the upcoming Tobacco/Zackey Force Funk collab project Demon Queen in May. The consistency throughout the new Demon Queen sound takes on a sort of bouncy 80s synth theme- almost if BMSR made sweet love and conceived a baby with the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack. A myriad of the Demon Queen collection has been accumulating on Tobacco’s soundcloud account- including “Lamborghini Meltdown.” When Tobacco shared this ZFF collaborative gem with the Brillobox audience, there was an uproar followed by instantaneous, uncontrollable dancing. The grooving motions became infectious throughout the rest of the setlist until its abrupt and unwanted finish. Aside from the interplanetary sexual visual stimulation, the Demon Queen material received positive feedback as well and the crowd could finally relate to Tobacco’s December 29th Twitter remark:
“this demon queen album we’re working on first enters through whatever hole you have in your front butt, and then sets off chemicals,”
It’s that memorable people. If you can’t wait until May, I dare you check out https://soundcloud.com/black-moth-super-rainbow and not be pleasantly scarred and musically elevated. For a window into pieces of the mind of Tobacco, Tom Fec, check out a recent interview featured on http://www.tinymixtapes.com/features/tom-fec-black-moth-super-rainbow-tobacco.