As Black Moth Super Rainbow’s mastermind Tom Fec told Reverb, the decade-old band can sometimes have a problem with perception. In the past the group has been looked to as a psych-flag bearing, love drug-encouraging act.
Fec’s never seen Black Moth Super Rainbow that way, and after the band’s set at the Bluebird Theater Friday night, it’s easy to see why.
On-stage the five-piece group is comprised of live drums, bass, guitar, synthesizers, effect arrays and vocoder. It was, in essence, a proper rock band. The distorted and fuzzed out guitar shrieked, the drums were punchy and the low ends left the healthy-sized audience reverberating. Those elements, forceful as they are, make sense for a rock band, but a rock band BMSR is not.
The group’s softer tunes such as “Sun Lips,” “Psychic Love Damage” and “Forever Heavy” took on hard edges. On the other side of the spectrum were more aggressive tracks such as “Hairspray Heart” and “Constellation Dirtbike Head” — which is actually a tune from Fec’s other project Tobacco — that lost aspects of their personalities thanks to the limited range of the instruments.
The sound wasn’t the only aspect of Friday’s show that didn’t seem flush.
Black Moth Super Rainbow, unfortunately, relies on their visual projections for their stage presence. That doesn’t come as a surprise if you’ve ever seen Tobacco’s BETA-heavy pterodactyl-porn live show, but Black Moth’s visuals were often monotonous landscapes of cabins and nuclear fallout-ridden playgrounds.
The crowd, an eclectic mix, didn’t seem to mind, though, that the drums were frequently off-tempo, or that the grating guitar replaced so many of BMSR’s wonderful synthesizer tones. They were let down when the band wrapped things up after only 52 minutes — encore included.
Nic Turiciano is a writer and photographer in Fort Collins who is also an intern at the Denver Post. You can follow him on Twitter at @nic_turishawno or email him at email@example.com.
Dylan Langille is a Fort Collins-based photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb. See more of his photos here.