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Monday, February 20

Review and Photos: EOTO - 2/17/12 - The Fillmore - SF,CA

We were pleasantly surprised to find Shovelman playing in the poster
room at the Fillmore. A one-man band, he converted a shovel to a
guitar and a harmonica that he loops electronically into a very
layered sound. He makes me feel at home with blues, folk, electronica,
and experimental songs about the west. The live looping especially
makes him an appropriate opener for EOTO.
EOTO brings 100% live improvisational music with cutting edge technology and experimental soundscapes. The duo consisting of Michael Travis and Jason Hann, formed in 2006 as a side project of the String Cheese Incident and have made a name for themselves as nationally recognized touring act.  Moving from playing small bar's and lounges to headlining  major  venues such as the Fillmore.  EOTO meld their jamband background with world-instruments and their love for electronic music and technology.
Once EOTO walked onstage, the crowd erupted with excitement while the musicians took to their instruments. Right away they started laying
down beats. From the start I was very impressed as I’ve only seen them
play at festivals and I feel like they transformed the Fillmore into a
strong festy vibe. The venue was comfortably full with people dressed
in wild costumes, twirling and dancing, sometimes almost in a trance,
eyes closed.
This band is breaking the boundaries of live producing and
improvisation with a rollercoaster of artful experimentation. Some
moments felt like acid jazz with a hard drum and bass beats, some dub
step (but more tasteful) build ups and drops, with some lighter
acoustic jam interludes. Jason Hann brings explosive live drumming at
breakneck speed that takes the sound beyond most electronic acts. Hann also drops in some stunning vocals, often using popular hip hop hooks that are twisted and echoed with extreme audio effects, enrapturing the audience.
Most of the set was very dark and groovy, full of long echoes. It
reminding me of Radiohead and Trentemoller but not as emotionally
moody as trip hop acts such as Portishead. The visuals were very
entertaining – lighting up the whole back wall with trippy and playful
images of circling eyes, dinosaurs with lasers, aliens, and colorful
EOTO is clearly ahead of the game in many realms but mostly with sound technology. Live looping is only getting more common due to the ease of adding intricate layers. With their nonstop experimentation upon
their extensive educational foundations, it’s no question that they will continue to pave new ways for musical methods and performance. 
Doing so this year with a new 3D mapped "Lotus" stage that they debuted briefly last week while on the East Coast, they will taking it with on tour more this Summer within it’s mind bending structure. Right now they are set to play a few more West Coast Dates before their tour schedule takes them into the festival season where they will undoubtedly impress audiences from day-till-dawn and you can look for them do so at the 8th Annual Wakarusa Festival this June at Mulberry Mountain, AR- as well as Wanee,  Summer Camp,  and Electric Forest. 

Words: Ashley Martino