By Jordan Rickard
Tobacco played a short but explosive set at the Strutt last Thursday. He showcased tracks off of his new album “Maniac Meat,” the perfect example of the unique artists the Strutt lures to Kalamazoo.
Thomas Fec, better known by his alias Tobacco, is the front man for Black Moth Super Rainbow. Black Moth Super Rainbow plays mainly psychedelic-trance dance music, but Tobacco’s solo albums feature heavy-electronic tracks with beats reminiscent of hip hop.
Tobacco started his set wearing a giant basketball mask, only revealing his face later in the show when temperatures started to rise. Once he discarded the unsettling mask, he looked like a normal guy in a baseball cap. He moved casually from microphone to guitar to synthesizer, seemingly unaware of the catalytic effect his music had on the crowd’s energy.
As the band played, videos played on the wall of ninjas fighting people in golf carts, women in bonnets fervently making out with aliens and sporadic commercials.
The crowd was a storm of tight flannel shirts. Sixteen-ounce cans of Pabst and glasses of draft beer sloshed on shoes and pant legs as the pressing crowd and over-zealous dancers jostled each other.
Tobacco’s intermittently scary and ecstatic voice battled with the drums, guitar, and pulse of the synthesizer. The songs rose slowly before slamming into a crash of bass, lighting up the crowd.
The front of the crowd pushed so hard that equipment had to be pulled back. Toward the outskirts of the audience, people danced as they pulled back from the loud and sweaty front line. The dancing ranged from casual head-bobbing and swaying to free-form thrashing and jumping.
Right as the show seemed to be at its pinnacle, it stopped. The last song ended and the lights turned on. Suddenly the formerly pulsing room was just the Strutt again. Everyone looked around and checked their cell phones to see what time it was. The show had gone on for barely an hour, and when they looked back to the stage for a potential encore, no one was there. Tobacco had disappeared and other people were packing up his equipment.