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EOTO - 4/24/2010: The Portage Theater, Chicago IL
EOTO - 4/24/2010:  The Portage Theater, Chicago IL
Photos by:  Cory Giacalone  [View More]
Concert Review by Didi Trout on 5/7/2010   

On the west side of the city in Chicago a crowd gathered outside a vintage theater entrance with anticipation building for the mesmerizing display that Eoto (End of Time Observertory)@ puts forward in their appearances. This duo derived from the acclaimed jam band String Cheese Incident, truly knows how to show off their skills in a direct form that has been the hype in the electronic scene. Pulling together a sold out audience and generating a dance explosion in between the seats and aisles of this old school movie theater. The environment was sensational, as first time witnesses and thrilled followers of the band gathered for the 2nd year in a row playing at this foreign venue. The Portage is literally an old movie theater, the high circular ceilings and movie screen in the back drop of the stage created acoustics suitable for the rage fest. Opening the show, Heavyweight Dub Champion bumped up the awaiting crowd. It was a terrific prep to the music that was ahead, suiting and an interesting character to see before the insanity began.

Stepping onto the stage with a deafening haller from the audience, Michael Travis and Jason Hann took their places behind the music makers that transformed the theater into a fest. The beat dropped down received by the moving crowd, the music was explosive. Ticking away the moments with insane down-tempo and uplifting break through s in the improvisation occurring the extent of the concert. Speakers shaking as the set began created such a draw right from the start. The audience was hooked. Overlooking the crowd Travis and Hanns faces read, "just get it." As the crowd ate up the beats and swayed to the music which flowed outwards overtaking the populous into movement. There is something true about the way that these men put out their music. They took a sublet of electronic music and conquered it. Dub-step can have a difficult draw, its dark and invasive and these musicians lift it up and break it down. They are masters to many who attempt to add such a spice to the genre. The music seems to disobey the usual buildup and break downs of music composition and the guys just seem to build and build with their percussions and then suddenly breaks the beat and bumps it up once again, completely offhand. Such an impressive concept to ponder, the fact that they just go with the flow of the night and move with the audience as the audience moves to them. The first set floated on, it was hard to stop moving. Hooper's in the aisles, glow toys illuminating the crowd and the back drop of projections transformed the barriers of illusion. As the set came to an close, the audience impatiently awaited the continuation of the rhythm that has been long awaited by the Chicago scene.

The development of the music put out by Eoto is so unique. The music visually stimulated the crowd based mainly on the powerful presence on the stage by this duo. Micheal Travis has a way of grabbing you with his smiling face and the concentration in the way he develops and engineers the beats. With this project this musician is exploring new elements of the music created, concentrating on the bass, guitar, keys and involves live mixing on top of everything else he contributes. Jason Hann takes care of the drum kit and percussions controlling the rhythm. He looks like he is in fast forward throughout the whole performance, flailing his hands to create such stunning beats. He bangs out the flow which explodes the crowd into movement. These fellas make a perfect couple with compassion in their playing together. Personality which shines outward captures more meaning with the music they create. The night was a sensational continuation on moving beats exploding the gathering into motion. Music pumping forward, the night whisked by as the crowd raged on. Hann and Travis still beating and plucking away to mold the extension of the set. The heat of the night was bumping away and the crowd ate up every tone and sound diffused from the stage. As the culmination of this miraculous musical display came about the duo topped off the performance by stepping to their bongo drums, dueling the melodies popping into the mix. A crowning point in the performance, watching Travis and Hann swiftly bring the beats out. Such an intense build up the entire show leading to an unstoppable finale. The crowning glory of the show was witnessing the populous in a euphoric state which these musicians left over everyone in the crowd.

The Portage cleared out but the hold of the music was still clear. The Chicago crowd was in awe, this gathering was just that, awe inspiring. A gathering to celebrate these two gentleman who step on stage and bring down the house. This round up of people populating the beautiful community embracing the melodies that move us seemed close-knit and collective throughout the whole concert. The city of Chicago has a cherishing surrounding of fabulous people who love music, therefor when music is played live there is always a homey welcoming environment which brings out a complete bash. These surroundings were definitely felt at the Portage when Eoto rolled by. This exceptional talent was an early spring treat to the city. As the Midwest awaits the return of this twosome, the anticipation will be brewing for the skills of these improv masters. Performing at the Midwest's acclaimed festival Summer Camp, the compassion and praise for these two will be uplifting once they step onto stage once again.

Photos by: Cory Giacalone  
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