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Thursday, 16 May 2013 19:36

Concert review: Black Moth Super Rainbow (with Oscillator Bug and the Hood Internet) takes the Firebird on a journey to the far reaches of sound, Wednesday, May 15

Concert review: Black Moth Super Rainbow (with Oscillator Bug and the Hood Internet) takes the Firebird on a journey to the far reaches of sound, Wednesday, May 15
Written by Tyler Williamson

The enigmatic Black Moth Super Rainbow -- Ryan Graveface, Pony Diver, Iffernaut, the Seven Fields of Aphelion, and, mercifully, Thomas "Tobacco" Fec -- come onstage accompanied by a revelation: They seem to be homo sapiens after all.

With cohorts Oscillator Bug and the Hood Internet, the Pennsylvania quintet brought out enough undergrads from Lindell Boulevard to pack the Firebird. Oscillator Bug, a "My Name Is Earl" doppelganger, indulged himself for an hour on his Mac before a simple wave ended his set. The diehards upfront, including the guy donning a feathered chicken suit, concerned themselves more with their beers rather than pleasantries like dancing.

That changed with the arrival of Steve Reidell. Cueing classic and instant classic verses from Jay-Z ("I Just Wanna Love You") and 2 Chainz ("I'm Different"), the bearded half of the Hood Internet cracked open the crowd's paralysis. Of course, the obvious Daft Punk influences deserve due credit as well. From the Technicolor scrolling backdrops echoing the legends' on-stage pyramid to the retro-mining grooves that pieced the set together, the duo certainly has enough sense to know who to emulate. As mashup artists go, the Hood Internet proved to be a savvy friend's mixtape to GirlTalk's classic rock radio oeuvre. The highlight of the night came directly from the twosome's latest mixtape. Crossing his idols' "Get Lucky" with the Kanye-trolling "Suit N Tie," Steve's cut into Cyndi Lauper's emancipation anthem created temporary delirium.

Out with the slot machine eye candy and in with the simple projection screen, the night's only act with a mask for sale at the merch booth ($70) was moments away. The lo-fi synth-and-hum group of Black Moth Super Rainbow started out as the brainchild of Thomas Fec, who has continuously evolved the outfit from high school borne Allegheny White Fish to the "more serious" satanstompingcaterpillars and today's BMSR.

Marking a concert-going first for this writer, a seizure warning played the band on to the stage. "Hairspray Heart," replete with a guitar riff as filthy as Ron Jeremy's mustache and slithering sounds from Fec's vocoder, immersed the crowd in BMSR's triple-thick musical milkshake. The backdrop video even featured long-time professional wrestling star Dustin "Goldust" Rhodes as "The Pink One."

While the ever-changing backdrop sustained the ethereal mood -- representative images: purple skylines and swing sets at a nuclear plant before a decaying forest -- the five-piece made its signature atmospheric music worldly and biting. While BMSR successfully crossed the chasm from studio work to live performance, Fec remained a perfectionist. "I sound like shit," and "Does this sound okay? You don't have to lie to me," marked the entirety of his stage banter.

Heavily featuring the latest effort -- "Cobra Juicy" is an infusion of Tobacco's solo work back into his group -- the set kept the bodies at the Firebird in motion. Any relative calm in the room was shattered by the Tobacco cut "Constellation Dirtbike Head." Black Moth Super Rainbow may have a cryptic reputation, but the group came to St. Louis and figured us out.

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