Washington, D.C. isn’t typically an arena for massive music festivals. The metropolitan city suffers from the same issues that plague all metropolitan cities: Dense populations, little land. The first annual Landmark Music Festival sought to correct the issue by doing the impossible: Throwing a star-studded event in the heart of the city. Here, some of the biggest names in music (not to mention, a handful bubbling under the surface) flocked to the National Mall just north of the FDR Memorial for some powerful performances. Under the scattered lights of the National Momument, it was a Canadian rapper and his headlining set that really had us feelin’ American.
Drake hit the stage a cool ten or so minutes after the scheduled 8:30 P.M. start time, good for the anxious audience. Some of the kids in the front had been hugging the rail since the doors opened near 12:00 P.M., some with homemade signs and shirts (our favorite of the former was a gent who printed a picture of Serena Williams’ head and blew it up to astronomical size).
Drizzy opened with “Legend” before launching into his 2013 single, “Worst Behavior.” He stopped multiple times throughout, mostly to highlight the power of the crowd. He complimented them: Of all the fests he’s done this year, and he’s done many, we were the loudest. It could’ve been a fib, but it didn’t matter. The response was explosive.