PHOTOS / RECAP: EOTO and ill.Gates @ The Fonda, LA 11/22/13

I like to think of The Do Lab crew as Southern California’s very own “merry band of pranksters”– progressive, vibrant, artistic and playful. Best known for curating Lightning in a Bottle and Coachella’s inhibition-free, self-titled stage, this Los Angeles-based group of “event creators” wrangles the best glitch, grime, and trip-hop from all over this beautiful country and brings them to the City of Angels to ignite our Friday and Saturday evenings. The Do Lab events always attract an eclectic, but familiar crowd ready to groove the stress of the week away. It’s the kind of crowd that truly appreciates just how very important it is to have enough room to dance.

Toronto-native Ill.Gates began the evening beautifully with finely tuned glitch hop to get the crowd warmed up. Sometimes when he is performing, you can literally almost feel the knowledge being dropped upon you. The edge of agitation that colors his glitchy, bassed-out sound creates something dynamic and alive. This evening was no different —- it was the perfect way to prime the audience for the journey ahead.

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When EOTO (End of Time Obersvatory) took the stage, the crowd cheered a warm, knowing welcome to this duo of livetronica legends. For those unfamiliar, EOTO, which is comprised of Michael Travis and Jason Hahn of String Cheese Incident, is a totally live-improvised duo known for their high-tech musicality and unrelenting creativity. Perched in the center of the Lotus stage, Travis and Hahn are surrounded by a gear list that’s a virtual what’s what of modern music technology —- hyper EQ’d drum sets, a million vocoder settings, MIDI anything, synthesizer everything. Or sometimes they keep it simple and simply pick up a bass guitar.

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There is an indescribable connectivity at an EOTO show. The music leads the crowd and simultaneously the crowd leads the music. Seamlessly and organically shifting from genre to genre, the live elements of EOTO’s show take the concept of a DJ set beyond modern notion. The result is an ever-evolving musical entity that is not informed by tracks, albums and hits but by emotion, energy and excitement.

Being the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death, Hahn began the set with a spacey recitation of some of JFK’s well-known speeches. It was a smart and relevant choice that resonated throughout the room as the crowd reflected for a split second.

Enough of that…time for some galaxy-funk! The duo laid the groove down right off the bat. The intricate musicality that informs EOTO’s style of dubstep is more than intriguing -— it’s intoxicating. Known for their split-second renditions of hip-hop and rock favorites, EOTO “set lists” could sometimes mirror the world’s greatest wedding playlist. The crowd obviously went crazy when Hahn broke into Tupca’s “California Love” —- a phenomenon I’m pretty sure happens whether your actually in California or not.

Though I’ve witnessed it’s beauty before, something about the Lotus stage is always new. The projection is immersive, the profile is stunning. The stage production perfectly visualizes the musical adventure that is EOTO, creating what I can only describe as a galaxy/nebula world populated by jellyfishes and Tinkerbells…you know what I mean?

There’s really nothing more fun than watching these two OGs of electronica continue to tear it up year after year. The charisma never falters, the energy never wanes. No two shows are ever the same, rarely even similar. True pioneers of their field, Travis and Hahn are used to playing 200+ shows a year and they don’t see themselves stopping anytime soon. The duo has several dates across the country surrounding a six-night run in Colorado. But if they aren’t headed your way, have no fear! Festival season creeps closer every day…

Remaining Tour Dates
December 2nd – Durango, CO (Animas City Theatre)
December 3rd – Breckenridge, CO (three20south)
December 4th – Avon, CO (Agave)
December 5th – Fort Collins, CO (Aggie Theatre)
December 6th – Aspen, CO (Belly Up)
December 7th – Denver, CO (The Fillmore)
March 27th – Athens, OH (Hoopla In The Hills)