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Poplife's Last Stand at White Room

There was something bittersweet about catching Black Moth Super Rainbow at White Room on August 1. On the one hand, it was among the absolute best nights Poplife has ever put together. On the other hand, it was Poplife's last Saturday-night stand at the venue. But boy, did the crew behind the 10-years-running weekly party end its 20-month White Room stint on one hell of a high note.

By midnight, the line to get in to the joint snaked around the corner. Inside, it was packed with wall-to-wall Wynwood hipsters and those who aspire to the title. And the main entertainment of the night? Western Pennsylvania outcasts Black Moth Super Rainbow, who tripped the night into something utterly fantastic. On paper, BMSR could be construed as a tad pretentious. In person, however, the band is simply gutturally grandiose, rallying the crowd into a beautiful frenzy.

Two video rants prefaced the band's set. The first featured a fatso who promised to list the five worst bands ever. At the top of his heap, of course, was Black Moth Super Rainbow, a band "so unbearable to listen to," he said, that "you must be a complete douchebag" if you do. That, in turn, set up a new video, featuring Adult Swim star Eric Wareheim. In his spot, he insisted that BMSR fans "are not douchebags." And to make sure everybody got the point, Wareheim asked the crowd to repeat after him: "I am not a douchebag. I am not even a d-bag. I am an attractive and creative person." Amazingly, they did.

From there, things went even more wondrously haywire. A his-and-her pair of knob-twiddlers was flanked by a devilish guitarist and a ski-masked man keeping the backbeat on drums. And off to the side lurked some kind of Sasquatch, out of which emanated the sing-song robo-voice that has become central to BSMR's sound.

But the Sasquatch wasn't at all content to lurk anywhere for long, and he stage-dived off into the scrum before the end of "Born on the Day the Sun Didn't Rise." Other tunes included "Twin of Myself" and "Smile the Day After Today" (off the recent Eating Us) as well as "Sun Lips" and "Spinning Cotton Candy in a Shack Made of Shingles" (off of Dandelion Gum).

But keeping track of what tunes got played and when pretty much defeats the whole purpose. For Black Moth Super Rainbow, it's best to just let go and allow the deep-seated throb of bleeps and blips to wash over you until title and sequence no longer even matter. This way, when the fake-fur-clad Sasquatch comes roaring over your shoulders, you can roar right along with him.

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John Hood

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