Black Moth Super Rainbow invaded Brooklyn on Thursday night without their usual antics. Gone were the disguises and disturbing video imagery. In their place, focused musicians tore through a setlist that included songs from one of the best albums of 2012. BMSR mastermind, Tobacco (the alter ego of principal songwriter Tom Fec) still hides behind his vocoder case. And there is still a full screen video backdrop, as there was on the last tour. However, none of it distracts from Fec and company playing their best album to date, supplemented with several greatest hits. In essence, it was the best possible setlist the band could have chosen. The instant highlight of the night was “Hairspray Heart” from 2012’s Cobra Juicy. Tobacco’s evil vocoder, Iffernaut’s flawlessly timed drumming, and Ryan Graveface’s insanely distorted guitar were mixed to perfection.
Unfortunately, at some point during the second half of the show, that perfect mix was lost. Graveface’s guitar overwhelmed when he switched to one of several pedals. Tobacco appeared to turn up his vocals at that point to adjust the mix, leaving the keyboard and synths of The Seven Fields of Aphelion almost completely drowned out. Of course, the best BMSR songs are built upon Fec’s brilliant synth compositions. The sound snafu could have been caused by the sound mixer at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Either way, the results were poorly mixed versions of “Windshield Smasher” and “Forever Heavy” during the band’s encore. It wasn’t the worst sound I’ve heard, and we were lucky enough to get a near perfect mix for much of the show. In the end, Tobacco’s live manipulation of vocoder melodies and Graveface’s endless guitar effects were still enough to place this show near the top of 2012. I also highly recommend checking out show openers, Ryan Graveface’s The Casket Girls.