As usual I’m late with my recap BUT I still wanted to put up the little photo documentation I have of my Governor’s Ball experience from a few weeks ago as well as at least a mention of some of my favorite acts of the weekend.
The two days were split up into basically an Electronic Day (Saturday) and a more Band Focused Day (Sunday).
I entered Day 1 full of excitement and after a train ride, a walk, a subway ride, and finally a bus ride, my friend Kyle and I finally made it to Randall’s Island and entered the grounds to the sounds of Big Gigantic (we arrived a little late due to some unfortunate yet comical circumstances from the night before). This was my first time actually getting to see Big G live but the DJ/Sax player and Drum duo definitely laid it down, although they would have been better for a nighttime type setting.
Next few acts included Santigold, who’s set was pretty “okay” probably due to the fact that she was sick and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Pat Mahoney who really started getting the afternoon moving with their DJ Set “Special Disco Version.”
Following the grooves set by the DJ duo, came another DJ combo, the word traveling, jet flying’ limousine ridin’….(not Ric Flair) Diplo and Switch of Major Lazer. This was actually my first time getting to see the duo and for a short afternoon slot, it was pretty fun. They got people going wild and some people got naked on stage.
After Major Lazer I caught a surprisingly tight set by rap group Atmosphere, who’s albums I’ve always enjoyed but never ever considered seeing live until now. With a full band the duo of producer Anthony Davis and rapper Slug, burned through an eclectic set of high powered lyrical cuts and more slow jammed jawnts as well. Definitely surprised me and was really enjoyable.
Also thrown in there throughout the day was Chromeo, who I was really looking forward to but left me a bit disappointed, mostly because of an incident in the crowd where some dude got pissed on by someone, tried to punch the guy and ended up hitting a girl in the face (shitty yes I know) and Duck Sauce, who THREW DOWN A NASTY DIRTY SET. I’m a big fan of A-Trak but had only heard a couple basic tracks from Duck Sauce (Big Bad Wolf, Barbra Streisand). I thoroughly enjoyed their set and was one of my favorites of the whole festival.
Things are getting a bit fuzzy from here on out but Passion Pit kind of left me unsatisfied and Kid Cudi‘s headlining set on Saturday was hated on by a lot of people but I thought was pretty enjoyable. Scott couldn’t really sing, messed up a song and had to start over but I am a Cudi fan so getting to see the old boy was cool for me.
As day 1 came to a close I was tired and sore but thoroughly enjoyed myself. Kyle and I had planned on going to the after party that night at the Brooklyn Bowl but after an entire day drinking, sweating, and dancing outside…I needed some rest.
Day two started a bit later than #1 (for obviously reasons) but we arrived Sunday midset of Phantogram, who I’ve only listened to a little bit but sounded great and put on a good show for what I saw. Next was the band Cults, whose singer, Madeline Follin, (who I developed a little crush on in a matter of 5 minutes) has a fantastic voice. Cults was yet another welcomed surprise and really impressed a lot. Their throwback lo-fi, noise-pop sound fit in perfectly with the lazy Sunday vibes that were spread throughout the grounds that day.
Devandra Banhart was literally crap (sorry). I usually give a band a few songs to “get into the set” and normally I like when people ease into the tunes but for this “easing into” was about 20 minutes too long and I lost my patience.
Order is a little fuzzy again but I think Built to Spill was next. I have to say, Ive been listening to electronic music, rap, beats, lofi, dance,electro, blah blah blah whatever for a while now and have kind of eased out of your every day straight up band ensemble as my go to music. With that being said, Built to Spill was 100% the MVP of the festival. These guys completely took me by surprise and played a fantastic set. Honestly I think this was my favorite set of the entire two days. Next up, in some sort of order were Cage the Elephant, Explosions in the Sky, Fiona Apple and to close out the festival Beck.
Cage the Elephant put on a good set even though their frontman sort of lost his voice from the night before (playing with Metallica) and Explosions in the Sky were good as well. The thing that bothers me about Explosions though (PLOSIONS!) is that their epic building athematic jams just go on and on and never peak. To use an analogy of a good friend of mine, Mike Nasser of the band Laser Sex, the band’s song structure is somewhat similar to the group STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9) in that the songs are the equivalent to musical blue balls. They just leave you hanging, waiting for more. They build, and build, and build, and never climax. Leaves you kind of disappointed. Nonetheless they ARE both good bands.
I must say I opted out of Fiona Apple’s set for some much needed food and grass time (sitting in the grass I mean). Although I don’t listen to them nearly enough I really thought Modest Mouse played a great set and tooooo close out the festival was the one and only Beck (I already said that up there).
By the time Beck came on I was exhausted but I’ve been a huge fan of his for years and it was my first time finally getting to see him live. His set definitely fit the vibe of the day and he mixed in songs that span his career, from “Golden Road” to “Where It’s At” , “Girl”, “Loser” and several others. Mixing in some electronic elements but mostly focusing on the full band as a whole, the set was a fitting and extremely gratifying end to a fantastic weekend.
Being at Governor’s Ball made me remember why I love music and also reminded me of how much I love going to music festivals! I hope this is not the last of the Summer for me, but if it is…I am sure going to make it a point to hit as many single concerts as I can.
Okay that’s all I’ve got. Hope you enjoyed my poorly written recap of a FANTASTIC experience.
-Dannyb signing off.
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