It had gotten dark at Merriweather Post Pavilion and seven o'clock had passed. Fans had piled in to the venue (Merriweather's current capacity is 19,316) and sat through a light shower of rain in anticipation for the headlining acts. Kid Cudi entered after the curtain was lifted kicking off his highly anticipated set. He was backed by the other half of WZRD, Dot Da Genius, and guitars and drums.
Cudi took the time to speak to fans and shout them out. Even those way back in the lawn. The G.O.O.D music rapper also took time to say that he would be going through some of his older work throughout the set and bringing out some of his mixtape tracks. The crowd roared in response and he kept his promise running through songs from 2008 like "Man on the Moon(The Anthem)", and even spit his first verse from the "Cudi Spazzin'" acapella.
Cudi also did material from his first two albums, running through material like "Ghost", "Refovev", "Erase Me", and "Mr. Rager," from the Man On The Moon II, while songs like "Soundtrack To My Life" "Cudi Zone", "Pursuit of Happiness" and"Day N' Nite" held down fans from the earlier albums.
Cudi's vocals were tough to hear for fans far in the back. High energy tracks like the David Guetta-produced "Memories" helped pull everyone into the festivities.
Another impressive moment was the improptu acapella or freestyle moments that Cudi incorporated in his set. He extended "Pursuit of Happiness" into a drawn out jam session, adding extra ad-libs. He extended another song by launching into a section with a loop of "Day N' Nite" Crookers remix on repeat.
Most rappers' weakest point is their live performance abilities, but Mr. Rager stepped up to the plate and delivered great vocals not only rapwise but also in singing as well.
At the end of his set Kid Cudi thanked the crowd for rocking with him and stepped off the main stage. At this point the venue was crawling with folks enjoying their evening and it seemed as though the rain was gone for good.
Photo credits: Dustin Whitlow
Photo credits: LaVan Anderson
Before Avicii stepped on to stage, there were people passing out glow-in-the-dark party favors to members of the audience. Electronic dance music is often pish poshed as an annoying fan by some, but the genre's faithful know better. Avicii's set gave a glimpse as to why.
The 22-year-old DJ/producer emerged from behind the curtain pumping up a sea of concertgoers bearing glowsticks.
While some concertgoers had grown a bit fatigued from attending the all-day festival, Avicii seemed to re-enegize even the most tired members of audience to at least raise a finger or two in the air.
Avicii threw in some fun mash-ups mainly in the form of mixing his top hit "Levels" with the top song of the moment, Gotye's "Somebody I Used To Know". There was even a dubstep remix to Kanye West and Jay-Z's hit anthem "N****s In Paris" thrown out for the audience's enjoyment. The way Avicii masterfully flips memorable parts of songs and blends different genres to appeal all to one crowd is certainly not to be taken lightly.
People may have different opinions concerning EDM, but the live shows and rave atmosphere are infectious. With acts like Avicii throwing you the party of your life with special glowing effects to complete the experience, it's all a bit hard to resist.
Fans slowly began to pour out of the venue after Avicii's set. Mother nature finally let down a crazy rainstorm late in the evening throughout the night, giving the Sweetlife Festival just enough time to finish up before.
For fans looking for a large-scale festival experience in the greater Washington D.C area, this is your best bet as far as spring concerts go. Top acts, top food, and a fair price along with a little good fortune weatherwise helped make this year's edition of the festival one of the best so far. But many will still be looking for next year to up the ante even more.