It’s been a while since our last venture to Washington DC for an electronic music showdown. But a last minute peek at Zomboy’s Rott N’ Roll Tour stop, at a new venue (to me) in our nation’s capital made the decision really simple. This man was set to bring one of Belgium’s most prominent producers on board, my man Eptic! But that’s not all, I’ve been dying to see the likes of British Bass music trio, Gentlemens Club for over two years! And Zomboy was bringing both acts along to perform with him in DC. Ever since I discovered 50 Carrot’s hit single Wiz Kid I fell in love with the music and style that he and the other two pivotal members of Gentlemens Club, Coffi and Soloman, have come to create. Not to mention I was already in Raleigh catching the NC State vs Louisville game with my brother (Go Pack), so an extra five hour drive to catch some of the most ballin’ producers in the scene was nothing for me. I grabbed my buddy Luke, told him I was kidnapping him for a few hours and taking him to his first rave. If I told you that we had an absolute blast turning out Echostage for the first time, would you believe me? Steez Promo definitely deserves some major props for this show, because I will go back to that venue any day of the week! Let’s get into the details of that amazing Friday night adventure.

     To start things off, I’ve heard countless of good stories about shows at the infamous Echostage in DC. If a show isn’t booked at Baltimore’s Rams Head, it’s usually booked at Echostage. Or both, since the renown venue built in the heart of Washington DC in 2001, has gained so much popularity overs the years. When we stepped in the building, I never expected the venue to remind me so much of my hometown’s big venue the Fillmore, except a lot more spacious and a lot classier. It gave off the feeling of an upscale nightclub. But we didn’t let the classiness keep us from getting rowdy!

Photo Shot by Preet Mandavia of Alio Graphics

GENTLEMENS CLUB

I couldn’t believe my time to see Gentlemens Club had finally come. To my surprise, 50 Carrot was not present for the evening, which was slightly dissapointing, but the performance that I was to experience was incredible nevertheless; Soloman and Coffi were definitely in it to win it. I had no idea that Coffi would be the most outgoing one of the two. Maybe it’s the new gangster ponytail that magically popped up on Lewis Pittman’s head, since I’m used to seeing a thin haired Coffi poppin’ off on stage. Weird choice of words right? He was so hype that he almost made a theme out of dropping some heavy bass on the thousand plus ragers that made up the crowd, then running to the front of the stage rile us all up and get us grooving way past a ten point SCALE. Soloman on the other hand seemed a little shier than what I expected out of the West Middlander, but he didn’t let that get in the way of his performance, the guy threw in some incredible fire with his Gentlemens Club comrade. He was sporting a baseball cap red baseball cap that matched his sporty looking t. If I’d of caught him outside, I would have asked him where he just got through playing his round of golf. But in all seriousness, their set was filled with so many heaters that I couldn’t help but bust out my phone every time I heard a track that I recognized.

   Throughout their set I was able to skank out to some old time favorites such as “New Presidents” and “Run Up.” But soon enough the boys were playing crowd favorite bangers like Coffi’s remix of Flux Pavilion’sBass Canon, GC’s new tracks “Jungle” as well as their loud anthem “Mo Fire” which sounded absolutely phenomenal in a live setting. I utterly and completely freaked out when I heard Coffi and Soloman throw up the “Power Moves VIP” that I had just written about earlier that day. The crowd thoroughly enjoyed when Coffi came out front and told everyone to throw up their middle fingers as Soloman set up a nasty double drop of Flux Pavilion’sGot 2 Know” with Mastadon’s new single “Rip.” They even dropped the almighty Excision and Protohype collab off the Virus album known as “Are You Ready.” Gentlemens Club earned my ultimate respect for that one. They ended their set off with an awesome, out of the blue Drum N Bass song as Eptic popped out on stage to get his set up ready. In a flash Soloman and Coffi were in front of the projector dancing around with the crowd celebrating the successful performance. I was thoroughly impressed with their crowd presence and I would be happy to drive TEN hours to go see Gentlemens Club do their thing any day of the week. Until next time gents! Thank you for showing us such a great time!

Photo Shot by Preet Mandavia of Alio Graphics

EPTIC

     Up next was a special set by one of Never Say Die’s leading producers, Eptic, the cartoon killa! I’ve seen this man perform several times in the past two years now, from an awesome NSD Takeover in Charlotte with Laxx and Must Die! to a gnarly show with Brillz and Jayceeoh in Atlanta. Wherever he goes, Eptic’s talents show! And that goes for his set at the Rott N’ Roll tour stop in DC as well. Michaël is no stranger to the rave scene; he got his set going full force and spared zero seconds in keeping the party going. What impressed me the most aboutabout Eptic’s set was his selection and wide category of unique visuals to match the beat of his music. I could make an article just about Eptic’s insane visual designs. I believe he draws them himself, or he does it with a crew? However he gets it done, I think all of his fans truly appreciate the skeleton with the purple cloak, or the robot who’s brain ascends out of its head, or even the many three eye-d dude guys that define Eptic’s signature style, wonky, tasteful, and aggressive! In all seriousness, this was definitely my favorite Eptic set to date – maybe it was because I’ve had enough time to become more familiar with his tunes than when I first saw him at Amos’ Southend, or because DC ravers go really hard and make each song seem likes a platinum record seller.

   Nothing but positive comments can be made about his track selection. Our ears were too busy burning from all the audio fuego that the Belgian bouncemaster was throwing our way. Ready for some IDs?  The first one I caught was Eptic’s new remix for Dillon Francis & G Eazy’s collab, “Say Less.” Then our friend went on to play that Skrillex and Must Die! collab “VIPs” along with other hits by artists like Virtual Riot and Funtcase with “Borg,” Excision and Space Laces with “Bounce,” and he even took a filthy remix of Kendrick Lamar’s “Maad City” and transitioned it into Flux Pavilion’s “Party, Drink and Smoke” which was got the crowd even more pumped than they already were, as if that were possible. In addition to the insatiable visuals, I was left thoroughly impressed with the selection of self produced singles that Eptic added into his mix.

Photo Shot by Preet Mandavia of Alio Graphics

     There was a lot of Overlord tunage going on throughout his set, such as Swords & Dragons,” “Nightshade and “What Have You Done.” I can’t forget to mention the best parts, like hearing that sweet NSD release, “Flesh Eaters,” along with another fan favorite called Jurassic.” He ended his set with some sort of remix of “We Will Rock You” which definitely had the crowd feeling nostalgic. From start to Finish Eptic had the whole city of DC floating in the Cosmos. Big ups for the great set Eptic, please come back to the East Coast soon so we can tear down the roof once more!

Photo Shot by Preet Mandavia of Alio Graphics

ZOMBOY

   The final part of the night was finally among us, as the man of the hour, the undead terror hailing all the way from Penzance, UK, the rock star headlining a nation wide 50+ show Rott N Roll Tour, the one and only Zomboy, prepared himself for a special set straight from the underworld. After anxiously waiting a few minutes for the final act of the night to hit the stage, the crowd broke out in sheer thrill and excitement as they prepared themselves for what turned out to be another amazing set from the Nuclear producer. You know how you hear about different sets from your favorite producers and how some were better than others, and some were absolute trash? Believe it or not, I have never heard a negative comment about a Zomboy set. I’ve seen him at Atlanta’s Imagine Festival, Baltimore’s Moonrise, and Sunset in Tampa, and I can comfortably say that each set was better than the last. Although my absolute favorite was at the Florida based Sunset Music Festival; the vibes, bass, and imminent sunset made Zomboy’s performance a hell of an easy set to remember. But I digress.

Photo Shot by Preet Mandavia of Alio Graphics

     Back to this Echostage performance, which was, as the bassheads in Colombia would say ” una pura chimba, perrito.” In my notes I have “Cinema” written down as the first track of Zomboy’s set. Due to the intensity of his performance, and the Dubstep overload that this man put us a through, I can’t comfortably confirm that he started off his mix with such a slow song, but if he did, it didn’t last long because soon enough we were getting down to his Neon Grave release, “Get With the Program” which is known to set off a room full of headbangers. Zomboy performed several of his self produced heaters, especially new ones off his Rott N Roll EP such as “Young and Dangerous,” and Rotten which really got the crowd jumpin.’ I also can’t forget that aggressive voice that shouts out “You will feel the bite of a wild mothat fuc*a!” from his hit “Biterz.” We also got to hear familiar bangers such as that 12th Planet collab Dead Presidents as well as his fan favorites “Lights Out” and “Invaders.” Zomboy also performed a lot of heavy tunes by friends like Bear Grillz, with his track “Marijuana,” Excision’s Throwin Elbows,” and Skrillex’Purple Lamborghini.

Photo Shot by Preet Mandavia of Alio Graphics

    Not to mention the fact that Zomboy, also dropped his remix of The Chainsmokers’ single “Don’t Let Me Down” which set the crowd off in more ways than you could imagine; I personally enjoyed a remix of Rihanna’s track “B*tch Better Have My Money.” But my favorite drop overall was when Zomboy dropped that sweet CHMST track “Riddim of the Night.” No one can deny the fact that DC heavily digs Riddim. Throughout the night one could say that there was plenty to see, whether it was the vibrant visuals or the countless interesting characters that made up the DC bass fam for the night. I really enjoyed the various Neon displays of Zomboy’s name on the LED screen, both in front and behind the DJ booth. The people behind the stage production that night made sure that there was more than enough for everyone to look at.

Photo Shot by Preet Mandavia of Alio Graphics

      It’s hard to believe that in my five short years of going to raves, I have never made a visit to the infamous Echostage. But now I can say that I did the damn thing, and best of all it was with some grade A producers like Zomboy, Eptic, Soloman and Coffi of Gentlemens Club. This night is definitely one for the books. And my buddy had a blast at his first big time rave. Until next time folks! We can’t wait to venture out to Washington DC in the near future for something fun, loud, and most importantly, wonky.

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 Thanks For Stopping By!

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–   Zyven