Manitoa jams out at The Spacement

Those eyes stare right into your soul. Manitoa playing at The Spacement. Photo by Carl Fonticella.

Those eyes stare right into your soul. Manitoa playing at The Spacement. Photo by Carl Fonticella.

Just as the venue’s name suggests, The Spacement provided a night full of lights and music worthy of being dubbed an intergalactic experience.

The crowd went wild for local band Manitoa’s performance last Friday, moving in rhythmic fluidity to the band’s livetronica sound. Without incorporating lyrics into their music, the band speaks to fans with the sound they produce, and boy is it effective.

The night was opened by local musician and producer Aludel with his style of music known as electro-soul. The genre is described as a collaboration of hip-hop and and old soul influences, with the addition of an electronic sound. “It’s ‘Pretty Lights’ type stuff,” the producer said, trying to explain his music. “The sound has been around for a while, but it’s just now being defined.” He also pointed out that the genre is “not dubstep, trance or techno” by any means.  Aludel’s music is typically a collective mix of musicians including himself, MC West Hunter who couldn’t be there on Friday, visual coordinator Dream Beaver, and the band Boom Slang.

Manitoa took the stage after Aludel finished. The atmosphere of the venue, with its hypnotic flashing lights, black light posters and a large mural of two cat eyes covering the wall behind the stage, created the perfect environment for the “Tribaldance Rocktronica” that the band has defined as their genre. The experience was incredible. The venue was jam packed with enthusiastic fans watching, listening, dancing to and ultimately feeling the music as the band played into the night.

Manitoa guitarist Eric Turner playing on the Spacement stage. Photo by Carl Fonticella.

Manitoa guitarist Eric Turner playing on the Spacement stage. Photo by Carl Fonticella.

Guitarist Eric Turner actively encouraged the jamming crowd along with his fellow band members, drummer DJ Reber, bassist Ed Q and keyboardist Collin Lesko. It was as though the band had prepared to send the audience soaring into outer space by opening up some galactic wormhole formation with the intensity of the sound and the atmosphere. Yeah, it was pretty trippy, but in the best way imaginable.

“According to the Native American peoples, Manitoa is the primeval force which gives every animal, plant and rock its power and character. The word is usually translated ‘spirit’ but seems to have more in common with ‘The Force’, channeled by Jedi Knights.” This quote comes directly from Manitoa’s Facebook page, explaining the roots behind the band’s name. Powerful words for a powerful sound.

Want to learn more about Manitoa? A previous Athens Steez article written by Rick Bannan with an in-depth look and interview with the band was posted a few weeks prior to the Sept. 27 performance.

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