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Black Moth Super Rainbow and Freaks Frotting in Unicorn Costumes for Halloween in Miami

Black Moth Super Rainbow

With Casket Girls, Ark IX, and Mr. Feathers

The Stage, Miami

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Better Than: Having frotteurs dressed as unicorns, human fruits, and Batman characters rub against you in eerie silence.

Last night, Sweat Records brought Black Moth Super Rainbow to The Stage shortly before midnight, officially kicking off Halloween with a set of mind-melting awesome weirdness.

It was the kind of show where the crowd tossed around wigs instead of beach balls and the slam pit was full of people wrapped in Christmas lights and wearing Sponge Bob masks. Yes, it was Devil's Night. But for BMSR, this was just another Tuesday night.

See also:

-BMSR on Devil's Night, Throwing Eggs at Born-Again Christians' Houses

-Miami's Halloween 2012 Music and Party Guide

-Ten Best Halloween Parties in Miami

-Black Moth Super Rainbow: Record Labels "Don't Have the Balls to Talk to Us Now"

Black Moth Super Rainbow and Freaks Frotting in Unicorn Costumes for Halloween in Miami
Photo by Danielle Ungermann

On record and video, there are few bands that manage to be stranger than BMSR without sacrificing catchy hooks and pure fun. And that sensibility translates live, for sure. Older songs held up well alongside new songs, like riff-heavy "Hairspray Heart" off latest album Cobra Juicy. Current single, "Windshield Smasher," got a spontaneous sing-along from the crowd, a fan in a horse mask lifting it up long enough to be able to belt out the chorus

And the band played in front of a series of projections of unsettling locations shot by frontman Tom Fec mostly in and around his home base in Pittsburgh. There was a playground swingset overlooking a nuclear powerplant, a country road periodically visited by scary monsters, and a graveyard plagued by trundling hippies.

Black Moth Super Rainbow and Freaks Frotting in Unicorn Costumes for Halloween in Miami
Photo by Danielle Ungermann

Stuttering drums. Apoplectic synthesizers. And Fec, who performs under the name Tobacco, processes his vocals until he sounds like Siri in a major k-hole, giving turn-by-turn directions across George Clinton's scalp. Each time he sings a line, Tobacco bends over to reach the foreshortened microphone hooked into his electronics rig. We worry about the long-term effects on his posture; you've got to be weird with your legs, not with your back, Tobacco.

Maybe the striking thing about seeing BMSR live is how quickly normalized their weirdness becomes. Without the context of your boring chaste bedroom or a college-radio playlist, BMSR's music begins to sound less strange and more like the really catchy pop songs they are. Even Tobacco's distorted vocals become intelligible after being immersed in a few songs, like spending a semester abroad in a Hieronymus Bosch painting.

Black Moth Super Rainbow and Freaks Frotting in Unicorn Costumes for Halloween in Miami
Photo by Danielle Ungermann

You could close your eyes at last night's BMSR show and assume you were plummeting through an endless abyss lined in fur or standing on a raft in a sea of hot pink jello. But open your eyes and it was just The Stage with a band that didn't look so much different from the average post-university jam band.

 

There's the guitarist with a ponytail; the bassist who has probably TA-ed a few sections of freshman bio; the gamine keyboardist who must have, by this point, developed some kind yet sharp rejections to the nightly fanboy marriage proposals. It was only the drummer who, in a jerry-rigged balaclava fashioned from a neck muffler and pulled-down knit cap, hinted towards just how odd the band is.

Black Moth Super Rainbow and Freaks Frotting in Unicorn Costumes for Halloween in Miami
Photo by Danielle Ungermann

Even Tobacco, the band's delightfully demented mastermind, seemed incongruous with the sounds he was making. No blood-stained three-piece suits like former tour mate Wayne Coyne. Tobacco wore a baseball cap and a tight black crew-neck t-shirt turned into a v-neck by his hanging sunglasses. Even as he grinded on his knobs with the distracted élan of an air traffic controller working the Red Bull Flugtag, Tobacco looked like he'd been dropped in from another band. In a room in which people were dancing with skeletons and an octopus boning a clown in the back corner, Tobacco seemed from another dimension.

But there isn't much to fear from some doofy bro in zombie makeup. The ones who blend in and look like everyone else ... Those are the real freaks.

Black Moth Super Rainbow and Freaks Frotting in Unicorn Costumes for Halloween in Miami
Photo by Danielle Ungermann

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: Half the crowd was bused in from our most terrifyingly titillating recurring nightmare.

Best Audience Costume: Maybe it was just a guy with a backwards coonskin cap. But to us, this wan and pale ghoul let the tail dangle in front of his face like a frontier Misfit as he pranced around. "I'm warning you/I'll put a Bowie knife right in you!" Bonus points to the crowd-surfer dressed as an acid-eating malcontent.

Black Moth Super Rainbow and Freaks Frotting in Unicorn Costumes for Halloween in Miami
Photo by Danielle Ungermann

Choice Merch Score: The Cobra Juicy masks modeled after the album's cover art were on sale. It's unclear if the people wearing them got them from the band's Kickstarter campaign or at the show. What we do know is that based on the sweat and wooziness of the owners, they don't seem to breathe well. Whatever ... It's hard out there for a demonic mutant with an orange for a head.

Which Way to the Weight Room?: Dude, Tobacco is jacked. We weren't the only ones who noticed. Without any irony, a guy in a dog mask said, a little too loudly in between songs: "Wow, how'd he get his arms so big?" Look for answers in an upcoming issue of Men's Health with Tobacco on the cover.

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