You might think that Jason Hann and Michael Travis from String Cheese Incident are used to packed venues and scalped tickets, but with their small side project EOTO, they’re right back to humble beginnings at the local venue. Even after the performance at Electric Forest you would think that their show would be beyond sold out, but bands don’t typically blow up like that, and though they may have experienced fame with SCI, EOTO is no exception.
On Saturday night, after Philly favorites DAMN RIGHT! opened the show, the Blockley Pourhouse was slowly filling up with ravers and Dead heads alike, plus your average college party seekers, who definitely came to the right place. It’s these kind of bands that give local acts hope, and DAMN RIGHT!’s 3 part jamtronica dance music was the perfect compliment to EOTO’s style. The young musicians seemed honored when Travis and Hann came on stage to start setting up their gear, and the house was more than ready for them.
They started off on a fast note, immediately diving into their untz-ier material and setting an almost rave-like vibe for the night. Throughout the set, Jason’s beats stayed at a quick tempo and he treated the crowd to a lot of high hat action. Michael broke out his bass and dug into a few heavy lines, but it seemed like they were figuring out their sound and balance over the course of the set. Not so much between each other- they were smiling and their parts were flowing seamlessly- but in setting the sound levels and figuring out the space apparently took more time than usual.
True to form, the late crowd finally made their way to the Blockley by set break and had the building filled. Pleasantly, glows ticks and flashy toys did not overwhelm me, but their presence was noticed and I supposed may have been missed at an event like this. And, as soon as second set started, the sound was crisp and clear, unlike in the first set. EOTO went mellow to start back up, and everyone in the house seemed to love the smooth grooves they were getting into. Airy and spacey, the set reminded me of their original name, End Of Time Observatory- E.O.T.O..
The set ended fairly abruptly- no encore, no lingering on stage, it was just over. The gorgeous visuals that danced behind Hann and Travis, the swooping lights, and the throbbing crowd simply ceased and that was that. Besides getting a coat stolen and one obvious incident of too many drugs, the scene was very positive and safe. The Blockley will see me again, and I will definitely be seeing EOTO again, hopefully sooner rather than later.