In a sold out performance during their first time in Louisville, Black Moth Super Rainbow played music from their new album, Cobra Juicy, along with older songs to a packed Zanzabar. They were preceded by The Casket Girls and Karass, a local band.
Karass started their set around 9, and played some jam-band worthy tunes, the guitarist playing on the floor and mingling with the crowd. After the locals had finished playing, The Casket Girls came up to bat. The Casket Girls, two sisters paired with Ryan, a member of Black Moth Super Rainbow, harmonized and synchronized danced. Each Casket Girl would trade off on playing guitar and dancing while surveillance footage played on the television in the background. Their hypnotic pop sound got the crowd ready for the headliner.
In the minutes preceding the band’s arrival on the stage, the sold-out crowd packed in close to the stage and one another, some donning homemade paper-plate masks (none donning the $80 official glow-in-the-dark BMSR mask) and some wearing sparkling foam top hats, all waiting anxiously. Black Moth Super Rainbow does not tend to have casual fans, I’ve learned. Some people in attendance drove over five hours to see the show. A friend of mine drove to Asheville a couple of weekends ago to see them at Moogfest.
When the band finally took the stage, they seemed a bit unimpressive but enigmatic – mostly dressed in a uniform of all black, hoods up, baseball caps on, the drummer wearing some sort of ninja face attire, perhaps a throwback to (or continuation of) the days where they hid their faces in promotional photos and little was known about the actual band members—had I not already known about this band, I probably would not have known what I was in for.
As the band played their set, the main-man Tom huddled over a Vocorder-type machine, the television in the back displayed colorful, surreal videos or images as the crowd rocked and grooved to their unique sound. Back in my interview with Tom a couple weeks ago, he said he couldn’t get signed to a record company. Their sound is hard to describe—current descriptions ranging from “psychedelic folk” to “electronic pop”—and potentially even hard to market to new listeners, but they must be doing something right. Their songs are catchy, have a good beat, and they’ve already got a devoted fan base willing to drive several hours for a show. Everyone at the show seemed to be having a great time – no smug or bored faces that I could see.
If you missed the show or haven’t joined the BMSR phenomenon, you can listen to their new album on Spotify or over here on Paste —also available on iTunes. Don’t forget to check out their website, too.
All photos by Nicholas Caywood and Brandie Story