The men behind Echostage and the new Soundcheck are leading the EDM takeover of DC's live-music scene.
Dance’s influence has long reigned supreme in pop music. But with DJ-producer kings like David Guetta and Skrillex crafting Top Ten hits for stars like Usher and Justin Bieber, EDM—aka electronic dance music—is arguably the most significant seismic shift in pop in the new millennium. Here in DC, Antonis Karagounis and Pete Kalamoutsos—the duo behind Panorama Productions—are doing their part to keep the all-night party going.
After a Washington renaissance that saw an awakening of the art, fashion, and foodie scenes, music was bound to follow. EDM’s booming and electrified sounds are dominating concerts, from the indie hot-spot 9:30 Club to the cavernous confines of Nationals Park. If these shows have kindled an interest in dance-ready beats, Panorama’s clubs—the 30,000-square-foot Echostage, in Northeast DC, and the new, fully-soundproofed, 4,400-square-foot basement that is Soundcheck, at 14th and K Northwest—have narrowed the focus. “Echostage will host more than 100 shows this year, and nearly three-quarters will sell out,” says Kalamoutsos. The duo’s production arm, GLOW, handles the straight-up EDM shows, while a partnership with IMP/9:30 Club brings pop and alternative-rock acts to Echostage.
DC’s EDM evolution started picking up steam in 1999, when Athens, Greece-born Karagounis and his George Washington University college friend, Kalamoutsos, began promoting DC’s GLOW parties. DJ-production superstars like Armin Van Buuren and Tiësto directly link much of their rise to that scene. “We look at the crowds now and say, ‘This is amazing,’” says Kalamoutsos.
Echostage’s spring lineup includes several hotly anticipated events, including Coheed and Cambria on March 2; David Guetta on March 4; Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike on March 12; Big Gigantic on April 8; and DJ Snake, Tchami, and Mercer on the Pardon My French Tour on April 23. It’s time to face the music. Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE, 202- 503-2330; Soundcheck, 1420 K St. NW, 202-789-5429