Words by Kathleen Orlando, Photography by Steven Philips
If you weren’t over at Wells Fargo catching the Dead and Co., I hope you were at the Fillmore’s 2nd-level venue, the Foundry, to see Eoto, because this was one that you shouldn’t have missed. With great drinks, food, and ample seating, the Foundry is a great venue if you’re looking for more intimate shows. When the first floor of the Fillmore is open, the Foundry serves as a lounge area that broadcasts the show downstairs.
ELM – Electric Love Machine, who hails from Baltimore – opened the night with a solid hour and a half of play time. It was a bit of a slow buildup, but once they found their groove ELM was able to seamlessly showcase their unique sound, self-described as an “outer space adventure through sound, infused with doses of electronic funk, traditional Americana and improvisational jazz”. If you’re familiar with the Philadelphia-based band Catalyst, you’ll recognize some similarities. Part of ELM’s focus is community-based, in addition to their music. They are involved in a network of performance artists – acrobats, painters, graphic artists, musicians, fashion designers, and music lovers – from in and around the Baltimore area that often work together to create intensely unique show experiences. Although we weren’t graced anyone extra last night, it isn’t uncommon to see ELM accompanied by members from that collective. You can catch them in Brooklyn tonight (Friday, Nov. 6) and then back in PA in Pittsburgh with Eoto and Rempel the 7th. Pending contract negotiations (it says this on their website, I promise I’m not crazy), they have plans to play on the moon, and, if all goes well, they’re bringing their intergalactic sound to our closest neighboring galaxy, the Andromeda.
EOTO – made up of Michael Travis and Jason Hann of the String Cheese Incident – was recently voted one of the “Top 50 Bands to See Live” by HypeMusicFestivals.com, and last night was an outstanding example of exactly how they earned that title. Joined by the amazing Mike Rempel of Lotus fame (improv-heavy, so it’s easy to see how well they mesh), EOTO wowed with genre-spanning sounds that bounced between dubstep-esque bass and beats and rock-influence jams that showcased all of their strengths. And the light show was completely enthralling; truly amazing given how unassuming they were for ELM (that doesn’t say a whole lot if you weren’t there, because the lights weren’t bad for ELM, they were just something else entirely for EOTO – they earned a spot in the Top 3 Best Projection Mapping Shows by ill-methodology this year). If you’re not familiar with EOTO, the one major thing that makes them so standout is that they play phenomenal completely improvised music. For comparison, it’s like someone putting you on the spot for public speaking, and you turn around and spit out the modern-day equivalent of the Gettysburg Address. And the crowd goes wild. Beforehand I managed to catch a quick chat with Jason Hann (by the way, if you’re new to this genre you may have heard him on Dr. Dre’s “2001” album), and found him to be pleasantly down to earth and so excited for the show, even as small as it was. These guys know how to amp the crowd perfectly, and they can throw down hard. I highly recommend seeing them the next time they come through – ELM, too, as these two are often paired together.
Next time, I hope to see you there!