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Honestly, for anyone who is familiar with the musical stylings of ill.Gates and EOTO, I don’t particularly need to elaborate any further than what is in the title. In fact, ill.Gates made clear from the beginning of his set that the freaks were welcome, as he immediately walked up, grabbed the mic and announced he was going to play some weird new tunes. The crowd roared.
What else would you expect from a show at the TLA on South Street headlined by EOTO with support from ill.Gates? I got there in time to see the last half of ELM‘s set, and while I can’t speak for the entire performance, the second half certainly set the tone for the night to come. They’re definitely a band to check out if you get the chance.
ill.Gates of course needed no introduction. Though, surely, much of the crowd came to see EOTO, many were familiar with ill.Gates in more than just name. In speaking to a few people, many in attendance already knew he’s one of the best live producers out there, and others knew him from his work with Bassnectar. He began the set with a sort of trippy down tempo tune with a vocal sample that invited us all to join him for a cup of tea. While his set may have started with ill.Gates inviting us to join him for a casual, relaxed cup of tea, by the end of his set, we felt like he had just force fed us Four Loko.
Then came EOTO. And really… what can you say about EOTO? What began as a side project for Michael Travis and Jason Hann of String Cheese Incident (you may have heard of them) has quickly begat its own fanbase and culture of fans who want to see electronic music performed with live instruments. With only two of them playing a handful of instruments synced with electronic production, loops, and voice synths, they somehow still manage to smile and look like they’re having the time of their lives, even while totally focused on their production.
The combination of the electronic production of ill.Gates with the live instrumentation of EOTO plus all the… weird… made for a very enjoyable first evening of Spring and reminded all of us that summer festival season really isn’t that far away.