While the couch-locked masses idly entertained themselves with new episodes of the seasonís freshest television, Eoto treated a couple hundred Wednesday night warriors to a savage, nonstop, dance Ďtil you drop audio assault at the Mission Rock Cafe in San Francisco to ring in Rocktober 2009.
Jason Hann and Michael Travis, both of String Cheese Incident fame, have taken their talents in a much different direction after their band went separate ways in 2007, trading in the feel good, song based, solo-happy grooves for dirty, synth driven trance. In many ways, this was like any other rave scene or dance club, except instead of a DJ lacing pre-recorded samples together, Eoto creates an continuous flow of original music which is completely improvised on the spot. Travis carries with him a whole loop universe (yes, itís that huge), complete with laptops, multiple midi control keyboards of varying sizes, a guitar, a bass guitar and a massive loop station with enough inputs to record all of these tools as he paints layer after intricate layer of a deep auditory landscape. Jason Hann, manning the trap drum set adorned with e-drums and triggers to add to the madness, ran the drummerís marathon with seemingly boundless energy, following perfectly each now theme flowing from one to the next.
Windows line the wall of the Mission Rock, providing views of the San Francisco Bay, which the building is perched upon. Standing outside for a moment, with the water gently surging, and the lights of the houses and traffic across the bay on the hill being melted and morphed by the distortion of vehicle emissions, and even a single shooting star jetting across the pale night sky, it seemed for a moment as if the music, which still pulsated the building like a small earthquake, was controlling the whole scene. A few artists were invited to paint pictures and sell their wares, adding to the already ambient vibe.
The first set was a nonstop exploration to the deepest reaches of the sonic universe, passing from loop to loop, as Travis seamlessly dropped booming new riffs, modulating them as he saw fit and matched perfectly every step of the way by Hannís attentive but aggressive cadence. There were no pauses, no breaks, no cigarettes in between songs, only tenacious sound and motion playing to an equally tireless mob of literal movers and shakers. After a short break, the second set began around midnight and was a battle of will between the band and the audience: who will give up first? Not to be outdone however, Travis and Hann rampaged through well over another hourís worth of music as kids disappeared one by one from the dance floor until there were only about ten of us left; a small fraction of what it once held. Both members stuck around afterwards for autographs and laughs with eager fans (including one of their newest: yours truly).
Eoto is finishing up their West Coast tour this weekend as they make their way to the East Coast book ended by stops in the Midwest before and after leading up to Halloween at The Grenada in Lawrence, KS. You can find their detailed schedule, as well as samples of their music at www.myspace.com/eotomusic. Donít forget to wear your dancing shoes!