During the first weekend of fall Washington, D.C.’s West Potomac Park played host to the inaugural Landmark Music Festival. The festival drew musical acts from around the country, including D.C. local Ex Hex, Los Angeles based The Mowgli’s, New York City’s The Strokes and New Orleans’ locals, Dr. John. & The Nite Trippers.
The two-day event, produced by C3 Presents, was conceived in an effort to raise funds to help restore the National Mall or “America’s Front Lawn.” In exchange for a nominal- by comparison to other music festivals- $150 fee, visitors were able to experience an eclectic weekend of music. Fans of headliners Drake, The Strokes, Miguel, CHVRCHES and Alt-J arrived at the main stages as early as 12:30pm.
Many of the best acts played during the day. The Suffers from Houston, TX brought a healthy dose of soul, funk and southern blues. The raw emotion and energy of The Suffers’ , Kam Franklin was evident from their first song and one could not help feeling her sass when they covered “Hard Out Here for a Pimp.” Daughter took listeners on a journey through the psyche of vocalist Elena Tonra.
Rebirth Brass Band, who will be playing at the Maple Leaf in New Orleans on October 13th and 20th, kicked off Saturday night with that Frenchman-funk many have grown to love. New Orleans’ legend and six-time Grammy winner Dr. John brought his jazz-bluegrass vibe and voodoo mysticism to the Miller Lite Stage. Houndmouth carried Sunday afternoon with its melodic “Sedona” and finished strong with a cover of Dion’s “Runaround Sue.”
Notwithstanding the long concession and restroom queues, Landmark definitely “made its mark” and may prove to be the east coast answer to California’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in years to come.