Landmark Music Festival‘s first year held high expectations as summer officially ended this weekend.
Long lines could be seen at every single bar with waits more than 30+ minutes for alcoholic beverages, Red Bull and water. You never want the fans to be annoyingly sober.
All of DC’s best bites held shacks of quick eats ranging from Maketto to the Jose Andres’ Beefsteak and Pepe. Landmark Festival knew the importance of a good bite and the District’s citizens enjoyed the best of its culinary establishments with cultural choices of all kinds.
With Drake, the 6 God himself blessing DC with one his first shows in the District, a diversity of fans flooded West Potomac Park.
Twin Shadows was the first to take the main stage (Lincoln Stage) with a full band. He danced and pumped up the crowd for a full day of excitement.
Half an hour before Wale’s set, young adults filled the area hoping to find the best spot for DC’s most recognized rapper.
Wale’s energy reached people standing in the back and in VIP as he jumped around left and right rapping lyrics from classics, such as 90210, to hits from his new album. Lightshow danced on stage with him as the Maybach Music Group rapper remains a huge supporter for DC’s hip-hop and r&b newcomers.
Hours later, Miguel graced the District with a shirtless performance and beached songs ranging from Adorn to Sure Thing. Wale hopped back on stage for Lotus Flower Bomb, a collaboration between the two. Even though it was one of the only unannounced musical acts, it left die-hard fans in bliss and the basic main streamers wondering where they heard the classic before.
No one moved after Miguel’s voice left the stage as there was only a 45 break between him and the 6 God.
Starting a few minutes late, Drizzy popped on stage beginning with Legend, the first song on “If you’re reading this we made it.” His set included low-key acoustic drops of Just Hold On We’re Going Home and summer jams including his verse in Blessings.
The best parts of his set though were the short drops of background music and only Aubrey’s voice could be heard as he versed to the silence on the stage and screaming crowds. He left the audience constantly loving him and wanting more.
Ending a few minutes shy of 10 pm, Drake’s performance ended with his classic “Know Yourself” as fireworks lit the stage and sky.
The second day of the festival could be less eventful due to only one major headliner appearing on the final day.
An entirely different crowd and genre of music filled the national park. An older generation of adults combined with a far-less races filled most stages in comparison with day one.
Not-so-long lines waited at the bars, but significantly rude bartenders served customers. A few spotted Jose Andres, DC’s finest chef, and his Think Food Group crew stunting a recorded interview in front his stands.
To kick things off you could hear Ace Cosgrove in the distance reciting lines from his latest project Baby Need Food. Instantly you can see the crowd rocking out to his clever bars and jazz filled Hip-Hop instrumentals. He also managed to find his way into the crowd and crush his set by getting familiar with the very same people that enjoyed his set.
The Suffers soon followed up by performing many of their awesome hits Make Some Room and Stay. The band was full of awesome instrumentalist including drummers, horns, trumpets, trombones, guitars, basses, etc. The lead singer made sure to put on a funky show as she danced across the stage making her presence felt. She also manage to take advantage of having an awesome band as she would go in and out of singing songs from the 90s infused with Lauryn Hill, Jodeci, Erykah Badu and other sound bites.
Amongst all of the fun Lord Huron entered the stage playing dreamy songs that allowed the crowd to continue to intake the wondrous vibe of The Landmark Music Festival. They managed to play Ends Of The Earth, Fool For Love, and more. As their performance went on you could see the love the crowd had for the band as they would dance and smile throughout the performance.
Chromeo started a few moments late but brought electronic beats combined with a hint of funk. The piano and table stands should be noted with their long women legs holding the table in red heels. Slightly wrong from a female perspective standpoint, but what can you do.
Dan Deacon also made sure to put on an awesome show which featured him creating an all out interactive vibe. At the very beginning, he got fans into his set as he went off with his drummer and had everyone form a dance pit which featured a dancing Chewbacca, Davy Crockett, and a guy dancing topless like he was in an episode of Family Guy. His sound was definitely memorable as it infuses elements of pop, hip-hop, funk and rock.
George Ezra managed to put together a pretty cool mellow set by setting the tone with many of his notable tracks Budapest and Blame It On Me. I have to say his set was looked awesome as his name lit his background and the crowd sung along to the sweet music he blew into the mic. Overall his performance was awesome and remarkable.
Alt+J brought herds of people swaying to their mellow sounds. Dads dancing with their children could be seen amongst the back. Although, their set was full of fun smooth sounds.
CHVRCHES brought major movement from The main stage to be Miller Lite venue. The crystal-perfect voice of CHVRCHES’ lead singer Lauren Mayberry could be felt throughout the audience as she gracefully twirled the stage. “Holy shit there’s a lot of people here,” said Mayberry as she introduced herself and the band. She even managed to recognize one of her fans she recalls going crazy during every song she performed at the 9:30 Club.
The electronic beats mixed with her eerie voice somehow works in a unique way that many other artists don’t highlight in their work. She’s upbeat rocking back and forth effortlessly singing with bejeweled tear drops ok both sides of her cheekbones.
The Strokes also made sure to end the festival on a good note by playing many of their classic tracks Reptilia, Someday, and Last Nite. They also managed to pull out of their repertoire, Under Cover of Darkness which is easily one of our founders favorite tracks from The Strokes, considering its inside of Madden 16.
While Landmark Festival still has a handful of kinks to work out, it didn’t perform half as bad as one would think for its first run. We’re excited for next year’s gathering to go on.