Eoto never ceases to amaze me. I got the opportunity to see them multiple times in very different environments. Last month, they performed a two night run at Concord Music Hall in Chicago followed by a performance at University of Illinois – Campaign and last weekend they played a closing set at Suwannee Hulaween in Florida. All of these performances were custom to the crowd and its vibe.
Eoto consists of the dynamic duo, Michael Travis and Jason Hann. These cool cats are nothing short of being very talented musicians with an abstract sound that leaves a joyful humming in your ears. They are live performers and 100% improvised. Jason takes a noise, stretches and plays with it like someone playing with silly puddy. He loops these noises with sympathized beats and the duo ties it up in a bow with an energetic and well-crafted drum beat. The energy you feel during their performance is mind controlling and contagious.
Eoto plays anywhere from reggae to hip-hop to dance electronic to glitch. They have mastered their improvised sound by reading the crowd and switching it up as soon as they see their fans slowing their groove. Something that I have not seen done before was during their show in Chicago they were using the speakers as part of their visual canvas. People tend to focus too much on the lasers and less on the music but Eoto does a very nice job incorporating their music with the visuals so one element does not over power the other. They had a perfect blend of music without the visuals masking over our ability to enjoy the melodic improvised sounds that tend to give you goosebumbs. Some memorable highlights include their cover of Fantastic Voyage, incorporating the talk box and floating between house like dance music and raw gangsta drops.
When I go to shows I tend to judge a performance by how many Bernie moments there are and let’s just say my shoulders got quite the workout in every performance. If you come to an Eoto show be prepared to go on a fantastic voyage!
CMF OFFICIAL INTERVIEW:
1. What ques from the crowd do you guys follow and how do you communicate shifts in song direction as a result?
You immediately see how people are dancing, if they’re throwing their bodies if they’re on cruise control. Body movements is a good tell-tale. Just how you watch dancers and see where they want to take it to the next place.
2. I noticed a lot of hip-hop influences in your Saturday night set at Concord Music Hall (I believe there was a line from Mase dropped in?). Do you have a favorite hip-hop artist?
Not really. We’re mindful 90’s hip hop and rap. There’s something about that whole era…Lauren Hill, Busta Rhymes,Tupac, Biggie.
3. Having attended Suwannee Hulaween, what’s a must-do at the festival grounds?
Similar to Electric Forest but Spirit Lake is the focal point. Go to Spirit Lake and lose yourself in the glow of the dark forest.