Concert Review: Tobacco @ The Earl

I love Tobacco. It falls in that very weird space in my brain and heart that enjoy this kind of barrage of noise and sound and imagery that shouldn’t make sense…but it so, so does. I love the mystique and I love the persona of not having a persona.

Tobacco’s entire show is performed in front of a screen displaying mostly humorously depraved video from the probably late 1970s through maybe very early 1990s. That screen is basically the only light in the room. Thomas Fec is apparently obsessed with that era in Pop Culture and it shows.

Most of this video falls into the “so bad that it’s good” category. Anything from an exercise video of a man and woman doing swim dancing stretches, other women doing kind of sexy stretching and making “O” faces (in full blown 80s makeup), Wrestling scenes from that era, a video from The Fat Boys, Freddie Kreuger porn and other various forms of soft core porn, an ad for 1-900-490-Creep which promises to be the only 1-900 call you’ll need to make! And that is all I can really remember off the top of my head. It was pretty eclectic and amazing. You kind of can’t NOT watch it.

The most interesting thing to me about this is that there were a lot of male genitalia featured in the Tobacco show, and the crowd was also mostly dudes. I find that fascinating and awesome. It’s usually women that get objectified, but Tobacco objectifies everyone in the most harmless light hearted way pretty much equally. It’s not gross or even trying to be shocking, when played with his music it just kind of makes sense. It’s funny not scary or abrasive.

The cool thing is, that is what Tobacco wants you to do, LISTEN. You will either LOVE IT or HATE IT or NOT GET IT AT ALL in my opinion. There isn’t much middle ground to this very special type of music and performance. But if you give it a few spins and it pleases you, you will probably have a hard time NOT waking up with these sounds in your head and a bounce in your step!

And if you got the chance and decided to go see Tobacco live you wouldn’t be disappointed! This show was SOLD OUT. I couldn’t even get close enough to take one good picture, so I made this on photo collage of my night that shows that people were having fun, in the dark.


And in case you were wondering, there isn’t much to know about the performer that is Tobacco, legal name Thomas Fec. I was standing maybe 15 ft. from him while he sat at the merch table during the opener. He is so unassuming, wearing a tee shirt and jeans and a baseball cap. Someone I met that talked to him said they thought he was surprisingly nice and not a jerk. Not sure I thought he would be, but we all have preconceived notions don’t we. He is kind of buff. And you just wouldn’t ever expect that he is making this music. I wonder if he has some totally normal corporate job that he does in real life? He does also front the other mysteriously awesome band called Black Moth Super Rainbow, which makes sense when you listen.

I guess I don’t really want to know the man behind the mystery. It would probably ruin the music in some way.

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Samantha Barkauskas | | Website

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