Lotus at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 9/8/12
Eoto is the culmination of years of experience in percussion. Both Michael Travis and Jason Hann, who are also the mastermind percussionists in String Cheese Incident, have found themselves stuck in a world dedicated to strict improvisation. There is no set list. There is no pre-recorded track. There is nothing predetermined except communication and constant production.
On the skins, Hann is directly synced to Travis, and the two compliment each other perfectly. With a microphone linked to all sorts of effects, Hann sings and yells and loops and distorts his voice, which is layered over the band's live set. The duo burst into "Dangerous," a Busta Rhymes cover, with Hann rapping the lyrics with his own flair added to it.
Eoto has really adapted its live performance to the dubstep world -- not so much catering it, but instead pushing the envelope. Travis dances behind a wall of keyboards and synthesizers, occasionally picking up a guitar or bass to loop in a quick sample, but he always follows the suit of his musical partner. They feed off each other.
This is how an Eoto set works: Travis sets the pace with a beat, then Hann adapts his drum score to the track, then Travis chimes back in with a new cut. It goes back and forth until the two decide to drop a bomb and totally switch gears. Without any sort of formula for a set, an Eoto show can quickly jump from house beat at 115 bpms to bowel-shaking drop on a dubstep beat at 140.
As instructed by management prior to the show and organized by none other than Zebbler himself, a Matrix-style pattern danced on the lotus-flower stage, triggering a slew of fans to pull out some pre-assembled slingshot helicopters. At exactly 9 p.m., the pre-instructed crowd followed the breakdown of the song and everyone shot their helicopters into the air at the crescendo. Glow sticks are cool and all, but who issues helicopters to fire off in sync?
Eoto and Zebbler -- that's who.
Continue reading for a Critic's Notebook and setlist.