Arts Desk

Photos: Sweetlife Festival @ Merriweather Post Pavilion

Lana del Rey @ Sweetlife Festival 2014

This year's version of Sweetgreen's Sweetlife Festival was a bit of a one-note affair, with a lineup dominated by danceable pop-rock bands whose music largely blended into one another.

Two of the outliers got by far the most delirious crowd responses. Rapper 2 Chainz was relegated to the secondary stage but put on an energetic set to a nearly overwhelming crush of fans. Lana del Rey (pictured above), who was greeted with homemade signs like "Lana: I'm nothing without you" held by delirious teenage fans, somehow managed to be simultaneously listless and sultry onstage—actually, not at all unlike her presence on record. For all that, she played one of the most compelling sets of the day, and likely should have been the closing act rather than the rather more forgettable Foster the People.

An early highlight was D.C.'s own Gems, who opened the festival with a brief set that started at noon—the same time doors opened. As a result, they played their first few songs, including a gorgeous rendition of "Pegasus", to half a dozen press photographers and basically no one else. Too bad, as a Gems set in the woodsy Treehouse Stage around dusk would have been easily as magical as anything else Sweetlife had to offer this year.

For a set of images from the festival (110 photos, in chronological order), check out the full slideshow.

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