Brillobox is a quaint bar on Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Penn Avenue that caters toward underground art and the independent music scene. Upon first glance, it’s lower level contains charismatic employees and patrons alike. The setting is a small decor of mixed art, moody, dim lighting, and like most public areas in the Pittsburgh area, represents its sports team well by playing a re-run of the winning Penguins game against the Flyers on February 19th. While it’s exterior looks quite wide, the inside of the venue seems, at least when packed with people, tiny. Tickets were extremely limited for February 22nd’s event. So limited, that the artist encouraged those coming from out of state to purchase their passes early. Once the artists and staff were ready for the Tobacco of Black Moth Super Rainbow show to begin, the pub’s visitors slowly began moving toward the line up at a narrow staircase.
Once ID was shown, the ticket had been ripped, and hands stamped, enthusiastic fans found themselves in a room not much smaller than the bar they’d been in a few minutes earlier. With the show being sold out, it was a no brainer that this second floor would be packed. The lighting? Even dimmer. The walls? Black. Lights hung above the bar with a decorative anarchy sign above it and the Facebook description of the Tobacco show seemed to be a bit realistic. Join us for an intimate sweaty show, it began. where we test out some satanic new material.
The end of the Facebook event said w/ Ponydiver and upon research, is one local individual with 27 likes on Soundcloud, who produces outstanding chillout and ambient-esque Electronic music. The tracks Pony Diver played during his opening set interpolated greatly into one another and gently warmed up the crowd by playing songs that were in complete contract to the craft Tobacco has build his records upon. They did, however, contain more prominent kick and clap samples than those featured on his Soundcloud, and were played along with other loops that sometimes contained glimmering delay effects and at times sounded like they could be Tycho’s melodic, melancholic cousin. While the set went on for around a half hour, a clear buzzing sound could be heard coming out of the PA system and would click off after a song. Whether this was the result of a bad cable or something’s input/output, it didn’t take away from the immaculate set.
The lights came up, the wait began. The fans started packing in. Trying to find a spot to stand and be able to see all of the happenings for the act was next to impossible. The club style, low ceiling venue allowed for little lift for the stage, if any, and unless in the first front few rows, the full show would seemingly be blocked, no matter where one stood, by a body a bit too tall. But still, fans inched a bit closer, with some even situated almost right up against the speakers. Anticipation grew, all eyes were focused upon a drop down screen with a DVD menu displaying its default screen.
The lights dropped, the visuals powered up, and the hundred people in the room, if that, roared. Tobacco emerged in street clothes and a bandana around the lower portion of his mouth – oozing the signature anonymous presentation Black Moth Super Rainbow has affiliated themselves with (have you bought your mask yet?) and powered through an hour set without stopping. One song would end and a split second later would be layered into the next, almost un-warrenting applause because of it’s DJ-esque appeal, but was still met with loud praise.
The visuals were unsurprisingly crude and creative, mostly stemming from the lo-fi videos that YouTube is flooded with under a quick search of his name or his band’s name. At one point, a Freddy Krueger spoof porn was on the screen, and later, human/alien sexual interaction, along with terrifying monsters, bogus hotlines, and 70’s looking instructional videos were presented. The show was flawless execution – one song after the other bled out of the speakers and into the room without an any trouble. Upon closer look on stage, a laptop was stationed with complicated synthesizers filled with patches, along with some new toys. Demon Queen even came out to play along!
The new pieces of gear seemed to be working wonderfully, though toward the end of the set, right before the last song, an oscillating synthesizer shrieked through the high end drivers of the PA system, and in such a small room, left the sound waves bouncing off surfaces and drilling the listener in the ear drum. Tobacco noticed. “Thanks to everyone who came out last night!” an update states on his official Facebook page. “Sorry if things got raw at points – I was testing out new things I still don’t understand.” Experimentation is known to be a driving force throughout his discography, so the seemingly stripped bits added charming grit.
By the end of the night, Tobacco had delivered an inspiring set and Pony Diver had completely won myself and Kristen (my accomplice for the evening) over. Being a casual fan, the two of us found ourselves in the back few rows, allowing for the hardcore fans a better spot and regardless of our position in the room, we were thoroughly impressed bt the glimpses we’d see and sonics presented. Kristen stated she enjoyed the opener more than the Tobacco show itself and we both agreed that we were going to have nightmares filled with high libido aliens and Creep Show hotlines, but soundtracked to the infectious music Tobacco presented to the small group of admirers who had been lucky enough to attend.
Come back soon. To see the Freddy Krueger visual and some new material in all of its glory, please click here. Anyone who has the setlist or attended this intimate show, feel free to leave a comment.