black midi causes chaos at the Constellation

Ben Mooney | The PhoenixRock band black midi played the Constellation Room Nov. 6.

A crowded room, rowdy energy and a surprisingly sporadic mosh pit all plagued the Constellation Room (3111 N. Western Ave.) as black midi took the stage Nov. 6.

The southern rapper Fat Tony opened the show with a wacky, exciting set that riled up the audience for the main event. Showing off many of his different musical styles, from remixes to west coast rap, Fat Tony’s setlist was varied and never felt stale. His set was short, sweet and filled with brand new songs that won’t be released until February 2020.

Coming to the stage 10 minutes late, black midi began with the title track of its debut album, “Schlagenheim,” setting a wild tone for the rest of the show. A mosh pit was in full swing at this point and showed no signs of stopping until the band abruptly slowed down. Moving into the next song, “Near DT, MI,” the experimental rock band eased up on the pace of the music, giving the frantic crowd a break, before building the chaos back up again.

The guitarists and vocalists — Geordie Greep and Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin — had energy to spare, making wild and energetic movements on stage. As the band moved onto its third song of the night, “Speedway,” the sound became more chaotic and noisy which made the crowd scream wildly and mosh hard enough to shake the floor.

The venue’s lighting didn’t share the band’s energy. Static front lights, with hardly any colors other than white or red, shone on the band from start to finish leaving the stage feeling dead. The minimalistic and monotonous production left it all feeling bland.

Thankfully, the setlist was not affected by this lackluster lighting. The songs “Crow’s Perch,” “953” and “Ducter” all kept the chaotic energy of the beginning of the set with powerful drum solos from Morgan Simpson and hypnotic basslines from Cameron Picton. The set then descended into an overly long instrumental jam session that still gave some thrills.

The latter half kept the set’s energy without faltering, giving the audience many more thrilling solos and vocals. Simpson gave the best performance of the second half, giving raw, off-the-wall solos. The closing track, “bmbmbm,” was the most exciting song of the night and whipped the crowd up into a total frenzy, making a perfect closer for the night.

black midi is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music and Youtube Music.

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