Photo courtesy of Doug Van Sant Photography. In addition to being a DJ-photographer, he is also the official photographer for Echostage in Washington, DC, as well as for EDC NY and Electric Zoo. Past clients include: Gareth Emery, Cosmic Gate, Emma Hewitt, Markus Schulz, and many others. To see more of Doug's work, check out his website.
Echostage in Washington, DC hosted a superhero convention this past Saturday featuring Laidback Luke, Moska, Henrix, and gLAdiator. Thousands arrived dressed in heroic clothing while others wore costumes just to be in the spirit of Halloween. The crowd was a mighty mix of dance music enthusiasts, all struck by the presence of the giant inflatable heroes framing the center stage.
Opening acts Henrix and Moska graced the stage with their Dutch and Electro house sounds. In an effort to leave their mark on the audience and not fall invisible in the shadow of the headliner, the two compromised contrast and variety by playing popular tracks such as “Who” by Tujamo and Plastik Funk, using the prelude from Pharoahe Monch’s “Simon Says,” which was later played by Laidback Luke himself. Other tracks included “Funky Tundra Boy”—Wild Cherry vs. Paris & Simo, Merk & Kremont (MAK J Edit), as well as “What’s up Suckaz” by TJR. Henrix and Moska did an excellent job all in all, getting the crowd moving and ready to go for the feature presentation, while leaving the audience with the desire to explore their sounds in the future.
With the bar set high, Laidback Luke jumped onto the stage clad in his own unique superhero outfit and delved straight into what he does best: inducing the crowd of mighty superheroes with powerful rage and the strength to shuffle on and on. The Filipino-Dutch DJ/producer played his own material for the most part; popular tracks included “Dirty Talk” and “Turbulence,” while his newer tracks consisted of “Dynamo”—ft. Hardwell and “More”—ft. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. Perhaps the best part about his set was when he switched gears and dropped “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” by Eve ft. Gwen Stefani. While many DJs have done likewise in their sets, Laidback Luke brought some rarely played hip hop back to the forefront, which was extremely refreshing and scored tons of brownie points. Respect. The energy of his set was through the roof. However, there was little verbal interaction with the crowd. While his energy was there, his interactions were a little too “laidback”. Nonetheless, he killed it.
gLAdiator closed the show. The crowd went berserk and fell into a steady lull of the 808 drum sequence. Unfortunately, while it was refreshing to change up the pace and style of music, their set took away the energy that Laidback Luke had built up so high. It was like a crash and burn feeling after the LA duo played a few of their Trap sounds, leaving the vigor of the crowd somewhat stagnant.
But as with every show, these minor setbacks should serve as a lesson for improvement—which goes to show that even superheroes aren’t perfect. In the state of imperfection, “Super You & Me” was still a successful night and the heroes of Washington, DC could not have been happier.