A sea of quilted blankets, barely-frozen margaritas and muddied Doc Martens spread across the lawn as music lovers awaited the start of All Things Go.
The All Things Go Music Festival marked its third year in Columbia, Maryland at the Merriweather Post Pavilion over the weekend, delivering two days full of rock, folk and indie music.
Artists were divided between two stages: Merriweather’s main pavilion stage and the Chrysalis stage, a dome-like structure covered in green paneling nestled between trees in the venue’s far right corner.
Saturday’s lineup began with Jensen McRae and Hemlocke Springs, launching the festival with a mix of melancholic melodies and TikTok-ready digital distortions. But it was violin-wielding Sudan Archives who stole the early afternoon’s show. Her mix of instrumental prowess, hip-hop electronica and eyebrow-raising lyricism made for an instantly memorable set.
A velvet-clad Suki Waterhouse stormed the main stage with a collection of emotional heartbreakers aided by an ever-present breeze that dramatically swept through her blonde bangs. Covers of Taylor Swift’s “Lover” and Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” displayed Waterhouse’s impressive range. Dayglow took control of the Chrysalis stage with a journey through each of his three albums, including viral hit “Can I Call You Tonight?”
The crowds at the Chrysalis stage swelled as Lizzy McAlpine arrived onstage. McAlpine, dressed in a brown and beige patchwork dress, encapsulated the aches and desires of adolescent love in an hour-long set highlighted by the crowd’s scream-filled accompaniment to “Ceilings.”
Carly Rae Jepsen took the main stage, replacing McAlpine’s soulful acoustics with poppy diversions and flighty lyrics. While Jepsen’s set was one of the day’s less memorable performances, it’s impossible to deny the thrill of hearing “Call Me Maybe” live.
Maryland native Maggie Rogers, who hails from the Eastern Shore, closed out the festival’s first day with an energetic testament to her musical prowess.
Rogers switched effortlessly between dance-worthy beats and tearful ballads, stitched together by her perfectly pitched vocals. After an incredible set featuring two unreleased songs, Rogers returned to perform spirited renditions of “Fallingwater” and “Different Kind of World” in an encore performance.
All Things Go’s second day was warmer, with a bright sun turning festival-goers a ruddy shade of pink. In the unexpected October heat, crowds began the afternoon as many Sundays start: Ethel Cain took us to church. The Florida native held the audience’s attention with raw vocals and a low, gravelly pitch that transported her congregation to the gothic southern scenes of her album, “Preacher’s Daughter.”
Afterward, Arlo Parks and Alex G performed impressive, simultaneous sets on separate stages. Indie artists Leith Ross, Samia and Alvvays made up the notable smaller acts of the day, each creating an atmosphere eager with anticipation for the night’s coming attractions.
As the sun began to set over Merriweather Post Pavilion, stinging our eyes even through our sunglasses, Thin Lizzy’s 1976 hit “The Boys Are Back In Town” came alive amid the orange-painted skies. Boygenius had arrived. Clad in reference-decked leather jackets, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker ran out to a screaming crowd to perform a set as gut-wrenching as it was cheer-worthy.
The boys jammed, rocked and belted with the momentum of heartbreak and the intensity of first love. Baker’s face was carved with fury and Bridgers sang with harmonized rage, all while Dacus’s contralto lashed the audience into an emotional frenzy. Finishing with their agonizingly blissful “Salt In The Wound,” Boygenius left the main stage alive with applause.
Almost two hours later, after MUNA shut down the Chrysalis stage, a low roar turned deafening as the familiar notes of “Norman fucking Rockwell” filtered through the stage’s speaker. With a bright white light, Lana Del Rey arose, draped in a dress of dark lace.
Accompanied by three heavenly backup singers, Del Rey took her followers through eight of her albums, ranging from “Born To Die” to “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd.” Her voice was impeccable, a stunning exhibition of classically-trained range with the experimentation of a modern musical sensation.
Her “Ride” monologue brought the crowd to a new level of freneticism, topped only when she brought out Bleachers lead singer Jack Antonoff for the first live performance of “Margaret.” After Antonoff left the stage, Del Rey switched up her setlist to avoid Merriweather’s noise ordinance sound cut off at 11 p.m.
“Video games” entranced while “Ultraviolence” and “Born To Die” brought Del Rey’s poetic lyricism to an immersive new reality. Her set finished with “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have.” A straightjacket was wrapped around her as she breathed out her final notes, and Del Rey was carried off in a white sheet.
Del Rey’s performance concluded All Things Go with an ode to the power of music and its ability to bring people together. It was a weekend of love and friendship, tied together by the talent on stage. Two days of music under a full moon in Baltimore, or so Del Rey said.