by Andrew Ventura ‘19
I heard about raves from my older cousin because he often went to Echostage. He described it as an electric paradise filled with people that share the same love for electronic dance music. Ever since, I really wanted to go see DJs perform live there. One of my favorite DJs, Zedd, a Russian-German DJ, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, came to Echostage on December 27, and I was not going to miss that opportunity. The first time I heard Zedd was on the radio. I remember hearing a chill but danceable beat paired with simple lyrics. The song was called “Clarity,” and it is one of his most popular hits.
Tickets to Zedd at Echostage were given to me as a birthday gift. Overall, it was a pretty large venue with plenty of security and medical staff. Echostage is located on Queens Chapel Road in Northeast D.C. My cousins drove me and parking was not awful to find. Doors opened at 9 p.m. but I didn’t leave the venue till 2 a.m.
Despite people offering me alcohol and drugs before the show, the incredible array of lights combined with the music made the offers forgivable. While some people were pleasant, some were trashed, and the loud music boosted the crowd’s atmosphere and the vibes were definitely at an all-time high. The only issue I found was the younger crowd not respecting the floor space. There were a few instances I wanted to push the people around me because it was packed from the back wall to the stage. There was literally no room to get out or in of the crowd. Zedd performed excellently. The music was perfectly synchronized to the visuals and lights. Video-game style vortexes and mazes were projected onto the massive screen while fog bursts and blinding lights shot out from the sides and through the blinking chandeliers. These weren’t just flashing, glaring lights either. These lights were planned with the precision to rival pyrotechnics; creative thought went into them to ensure they reinforced the themes in the music and lyrics. Red and blue lights reminiscent of police car sirens danced to match the subtle lights in the background of the song “Spectrum” and oceans of light flowed over the audience during “Lost at Sea.” Zedd was charismatic and engaged with the audience, telling jokes between songs and telling the meaning behind the lyrics. The crowd could feel the energy he transmitted with every song he played.
This was a great first time going to Echostage. The venue is really fun, and I will definitely go back again. The music was on another level and it felt so good dancing with people who like the same music. When people are the of age 18, go to Echostage to enjoy live electronic dance music. Enjoy a light show like no other and meet people with similar interests, too.