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The Vanguard

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Black Moth Super Rainbow

Oct 17, 2018

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Upon walking into Fine Line on a chilly fall evening, the first thing I saw was a giant translucent mesh screen covering the entire stage. This was not the decorum that I was expecting. What was its purpose? To protect my ears from an abrasive wall of sound? To enhance the visual experience? To keep band members from feeling tempted to jump straight into the crowd? Though I am not necessarily a complete stranger to the music stylings of Black Moth Super Rainbow, I realized I was going into this show with very little idea of what to expect. But that only made it more exciting. 

Starting off tonight’s show was Air Credits, a rap/electronic group based out of Chicago. With beats akin to those of Death Grips and a deep synth powerful enough to shake me to my core even when I retreated to the bathroom, Air Credits’ performance somehow transformed the venue into some sort of digitally simulated vacuum. Or, at times, a wacky but fun 2000s themed party.

Following their performance came The Stargazer Lilies. As the band set up a projector that displayed a montage of outdoorsy nature videos, I expected their performance to feel like the inside of an American Eagle store. But as their 3 (!) band members began playing, I was immediately put back in my place. The whole audience was hit with booming, apocalyptic sounds, just in time for spooky season. I’ve decided that I’d like to think of their performance as the musical equivalent of an electric blanket: aggressive and a bit confusing concerning the exact mechanics and production, but warm and cozy and great nonetheless. 

Finally, Black Moth Super Rainbow took to the stage. With all the stage spotlights off, the purpose of the mysterious mesh screen was finally revealed! Images, videos, and sparkly effects were projected on the screens both in front of and behind the band, creating the illusion of a continuous three-dimensional box around the band as they played. With such impressive and detailed visuals, this performance felt more like an immersive modern art exhibit than a conventional musical show. The stunning visuals and strangely therapeutic synthesizers created a truly sensory experience. 

Following this show, can I confidently say that I now know exactly how to classify the genre of Black Moth Super Rainbow, or that I know what to expect from their future performances? Absolutely not. But I know that their creativity and artistry will surely continue these sorts of immersive experiences for their fans for years to come. Who knows! Maybe one day they’ll have something even more vibrant than a giant mesh screen.

Eva Chen