Live Concert Photography: Black Moth Super Rainbow with The Stargazers Lilies at Music Hall of Williamsburg 6/2/18
Currently comprised of founding member, frontman and primary songwriter TOBACCO (born Thomas Fec), keyboardist The Seven Fields of Aphelion (born Maureen “Maux” Boyle), guitarist Ryan Graveface and bassist Pony Driver, the Pittsburgh, PA-based experimental electronic act Black Moth Super Rainbow can trace their origins back to two previous projects that featured BMSR’s TOBACCO — Allegheny White Fish, which was active from 1996-2000 and satanstompingcaterpillars, which was active from 2000-2002. satanstompingcaterpillars released three full-length albums, including their last album The Most Wonderfulest Thing before adding three new members — Father Hummingbird, Boyle and Iffneraut. And with the addition of the new members, the band renamed themselves Black Moth Super Rainbow in 2003.
Over the past decade, whether with Black Moth Super Rainbow or as a solo artist, TOBACCO has written and recorded material that explores the periphery of the dark, foreboding and murderously sinister and absurdly sunny beauty — with the end result being a woozy and trippy uneasiness. Now, as you may recall, throughout his career TOBACCO has been a rather mysterious figure; in fact, if you Google images of him, you’ll see that in most of them, his face is obscured by a mask, a ball cap or a hood. And yet, interestingly enough, he’s known for patient and thoughtful interviews, where he breaks down his creative process and the ideas espoused throughout his work — while holding onto to sense of mystery about him, in which his personal life or anything else about him is revealed. And in that sense, TOBACCO has been visible but opaque, emotional yet unwilling to exploit self-mythology; however, with Panic Blooms, the first Black Moth Super Rainbow album in six years, the album finds TOBACCO writing some of the most raw and direct lyrics he’s ever written, in some way inspired by the current sociopolitical climate. The end result is an album that is an account of depression and human frailty in an ugly and vicious world — all while being centered around their unique sound.
The members of Black Moth Super Rainbow are in the middle of a lengthy tour to support Panic Blooms, and it included a headlining show at Music Hall of Williamsburg back in June with labelmates The Stargazer Lilies opening. Check out the remaining tour dates below, and photos from the show after that.
FRI 8/10 PITTSBURGH, PA Mr. Smalls
SAT 8/11 LOUISVILLE, KY Headliners
SUN 8/12 ASHEVILLE, NC Orange Peel
TUE 8/14 AUSTIN, TX Mohawk
WED 8/15 HOUSTON, TX White Oak Music Hall
FRI 8/17 ATLANTA, GA Masquerade (Hell)
SAT 8/18 NASHVILLE, TN Mercy Lounge
Opening the night was the Northeastern Pennsylvania-based shoegazer rock act The Stargazer Lilies, an act that I’ve written a bit about over the past three years, and as you may recall, the band which is comprised of founding and core duo John Cep (guitar, bass, vocals, drums and production) and Kim Field (bass and vocals) along with a rotating cast of live drummers can trace its origins to when Cep’s and Field’s previous band Soundpool broke up. And although Soundpool had managed to build a national profile, touring with the likes of Chapterhouse, Ulrich Schnauss, A Place to Bury Strangers, School of Seven Bells, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Tobacco and others, the duo desperately desired a change in sonic direction — and with the band’s full-length debut We Are The Dreamers, the duo’s sound meshed ambient and ethereal dream pop with muscular shoegaze. Since then, the band has released 2016’s Door to the Sun while developing a reputation for relentless touring as both an opener and headliner.