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Moth Complex

Moth Complex Made a Stop in Omaha during Their U.S. Tour to Rock out with Against the Artificial and Screaming for Silence

By: Audrey Kay xx

This is my first review on a show at the Underground, and I am not going to lie, I was pretty nervous and it definitely has not been one of my easier tasks.  The last time I was there was well over a year ago to see Jack's Mannequin and as much as I love Sokol, it is no secret that the underground portion was lacking in the sound department.  I was a lot more at ease when I saw they replaced everything with brand new speakers, sound system and fixed up the stage.  Of course the sound will not ever compare to most popular Omaha venues, but the bands did a great job of working with what they had and not letting things get in the way of putting on a great show.  The thing I do enjoy about Sokol Underground is how personal it is; you feel like you are at a garage watching one of their band practices or something, it is very mellow and low key, and that can be a good change sometimes.  Here is my take on the night.

Against Artificial - Photo by Aliya Katskee
Photo by Aliya Katskee

First up on stage for the night was Omaha hardcore rockers, Against the Artificial.  This was my first time seeing the band's entire set start to finish, and this is one of the few local 'border-line metal' bands I've completely enjoyed from beginning to end.  Not because other local bands are not good in comparison, but because for some reason most of the bands I can dig and appreciate for a few songs, and then I am done. However, they kept my attention the entire time and I thought they had a great idea on how they wanted their sound to be.  The reason why I say that I usually can only sit through a few songs in most bands is because a lot of heavier rock bands focus all of their attention vocally and not enough focus instrumentally.  This inevitably, makes the songs just sound like…well, screaming really loud without making MUSIC at the same time and becomes sort of messy without any substance. It can be difficult for rock bands to sound ‘put together' and polished without losing any of their grit, but this band knew how to be edgy and raw-sounding while keeping the sound clean.  They worked well to produce a great rhythm in every song and allowed each track to have its' unique identity.  Sure, maybe the crowd was somewhat small, but who cares because the lead singer had such AMAZING charisma and impeccable stage presence, it brought everyone that was there to the front.  The only downside to that is the fact that because the lead singer had such a strong presence, it sort of washed the other band members out.  So, it is important for each member to really step it up and give everything they have when they are up there to really electrify their performance.  They also did a really kick-ass rock version of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up", though Screaming for Silence's rendition of "Take Me Home Tonight" still takes the cake in the cover song category.  They were awesome and very much impressed me, and I look forward to seeing how they perform and sound in other venues in the near future.

Moth Complex - Photo by Aliya Katskee
Photo by Aliya Katskee

Because two of the band members in Against the Artificial happen to also be members of Moth Complex, the headliners, they went second instead of last to help make set up and break down easier.  I am constantly expanding my taste in music, and find chick-fronted bands to slowly, but surely, grow on me.  Moth Complex in particular I have been stoked for weeks to see live, primarily because tiny lead singer, Aoife (EE-Fuh), hails from Dublin, Ireland.  There is something really special about musicians from that part of the world that I am drawn to.  There is one characteristic that most female fronted rock bands seem to possess; they may be petite chicks, but they can kick your ass with their set of windpipes.  Though blonde-haired and dressed in floral, this rocker chick is anything but sugar and spice.  Like I had predicted, Aoife set herself apart by adding her eerie, romantic Irish-infused style intertwined with a darker, more sinister effect.  It was really interesting to see two of the members from the first band switch up roles and change their onstage persona for their parts in Moth Complex. Against the Artificial lead singer, Chad Riche, took the task of lead guitar while Patrick Kirschbaum swapped his guitar for bass. 

Moth Complex - Photo by Aliya Katskee
Photo by Aliya Katskee

I am so proud in particular of these two guys; I spoke with Patrick that night and he had explained to me that he had to learn completely new things just the night before since they lost a member of the band last minute.  I cannot imagine the stress that is put on them to devote their time equally and make the commitment to be a valuable part of both bands, so my praise goes out especially to these exceptional gentlemen.  Though vocals and sweet ass guitar riffs are definitely my forte, it was hard for me to focus on much more than Damon Moreno's phenomenal drum skills. Literally flawless through every song, the rest of the band could have made a million mistakes and I think his talent would be able to hold it together, it was outstanding.  As beautiful as Aoife's voice is, she is in a very difficult position being up against brilliant female rock singers.  Throughout the performance, it really becomes nearly impossible to not compare to Flyleaf.  This is a tough barrier to break, as it is a very challenging task to even begin to compete with the vocal ability of Lacey Mosley, but I really have faith that Aoife has the charm and personality to succeed in that.  As a female in any aspect of the music industry,  I know how hard it can be to earn that respect, so I hold her up in very high esteem.  Fantastic job, Moth Complex, good luck with the rest of your tour and may everyone enjoy you as much as I did.

Screaming for Silence - Photo by Aliya Katskee
Photo by Aliya Katskee

Last but certainly not least, was one of Omaha's staples in hard rock, Screaming for Silence. I do not have to sit here and defend these guys and their talent; it's already proven with every packed show they play.  I cannot stress enough the importance to me when it comes to not just hearing the music, but feeling the emotion behind it, and that is one of the biggest things I admire in this group.  Their love for what they do is always apparent from the time they walk on the stage to the very end.  Lead singer Zeb is one of the most crowd interacting lead vocalists in Omaha's rock scene and his immense amount of energy can pump up any crowd, big or small.  This is the second time I have seen the band with their new bass player (formerly in Omaha screamo band, Dielated), and I am happy to see he appears to be adjusting better and finding his place within the band. 

Screaming for Silence - Photo by Aliya Katskee
Photo by Aliya Katskee

The first show was slightly awkward, mostly because I was adjusting to the new member and the fact it is down to one backing vocalist, but I think he looks more comfortable up there with the band and he seems to be a good fit for them.  As far as Danny Irwin being the backup vocalist now, I find it to be a slight disadvantage.  I have to give the guy credit; he's now the one person in the band that has to do some serious multi-tasking and I'm sure it's not easy, so keep up the good work, you are doing so great.  Lead guitarist Casey Newsom never fails me and carries out riffs like an absolute pro.  Though Casey is lead guitarist, I would definitely love to see Danny do more solo work throughout the songs.  He plays a few very short pieces, and I personally think it would be brilliant if he and Casey could alternate that just a little bit more. I'm huge into guitar solos, so the more they are incorporated, the better.  It's always interesting to see Pat Mussack on drums, because his onstage personality is so much different than what you see offstage.  The drums are so vital because it lays the foundation on how the song is supposed to sound and the drummer has a huge responsibility to keep the rhythm and keep everyone in tact, which he does an awesome job of.  Every time I see the band play I feel there is always tremendous improvement. No matter where they play or how many people are there, they never waiver in their performance, which is so imperative if a band has a strong desire to succeed. I love this band, I believe in this band, and as long as they never lose their heart or passion for what they do, they will make some great things happen in their music careers.

Till next time,

Audrey Kay xx