1822 w Sunset Blvd., LOS ANGELES, CA 90028
Opened in 2001.
They are connected. Run by the same promoters. Yet…far from the same. The way I remember each is The Echo sits atop of The Echoplex. The Heaven to it’s hell. Great picture to think about because on one night (Dec. 2, 2011) I saw Girl In A Coma with devilish-flaming lights at The Echoplex before crashing Allen Stone’s heavenly-starry lite show upstairs at The Echo. 2011 memories that changed my life. Since that day I visited The Echo more times than The Echoplex. It is a venue all about hip, Echo Park, artists that usually make bigger splashes on mainstream radios.
With a room fit for 300 music lovers, shows usually sell out quickly. The Echo is probably one of the smallest joints you’ll ever see a show at. Nevertheless, it’s kind of awesome to see a buzzworthy act (on the cusp of breaking through) killing it intimately. You won’t forget it. The vibe alone within the dark room will give you mad chills.
Other things worth noting: One Bar & bathroom [stage left], comfortable seats (couch like) bordering the dancefloor area, and make a trip to the merchandise & greeting area [stage right]. The seats are the first spots to go (especially in the center). Don’t recommend the couch area on the right side of the stage because the uneven ceiling and pillars obstruct your view. Stage left or center are the prime areas for raging. Even the bar area works…if you don’t mind drunk patrons pushing into you. I hate it. So, I usually post up on the pillar right by the entrance. Love something to put my back on plus the short distance still provided amble focus for my guerrilla shots.
The lighting at The Echo favors extremely low light. You’re quite powerless against what kind of shots you get from large distances. If you want GREAT shots, get close. Don’t expect the venue to help you. Because it won’t. You are gonna battle probably the worst lighting venue in LA. And that’s okay! You should be paying attention to the act anyway. Right?
When you visit many of the larger venues over and over again, visiting The Echo really cleans the palette. You experience what’s new & fresh about the lively LA music scene.
PARKING & FOOD
Two words: Echo Park! You’re in it. Hipster capital of modern LA culture. You won’t find another strip of shops or restaurants cooler then this area. Seriously. The parking lots off Sunset are free after 8 P.M. A major plus when seeing a late-night show. But their version of the sunset strip has coffee shops, restaurants, quick pizza, etc just a few steps from The Echo. I try to visit Origami Vinyl before a show. Love that shop.
PS: Be sure to attend the FREE Echo Park Rising festival in August to really experience everything Echo Park has to offer. It’s a powerhouse of free Music, Food, Art, and Fun. Runs for 3 days. You’ll love it.