Three days. Over 60 artists. Countless crazy festival-goers swarming N.Y.C. (with significantly fewer flower crowns that you might see at Coachella). Sounds like a good weekend, right?
This weekend (June 5 – June 7), The Governors Ball came to Randall’s Island for its fifth year, and it did not disappoint. With a combination of big-name pop acts and some very talented new voices on the stage, all in all it was a good weekend for music.
From what we’ve gathered, here’s a breakdown of the festival with a recap of each day:
Day 1 (Friday, June 5):
Friday was crowded, high energy, and almost completely girl-dominated in all genres. Besides the unexpected gore resulting from Slim Jimmy’s run in with some glass during the Rae Sremmurd set and the surprise appearance of Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig during Chromeo’s performance of “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” it was the women who stole the show.
Some of these leading ladies include Florence + The Machine, Charli XCX and, and perhaps most notably, Annie Clark of St. Vincent.
St. Vincent’s performance was a rock n’ roll dream right out of some Sci-fi universe. Clark sang, played her guitar and danced until she dropped. We mean that quite literally, as she got taken off stage on a stretcher (it was all part of the performance, don’t worry) as a part of her final song, “Your Lips Are Red.”
Also, we’d like to give a shout-out to Drake, who exceeded expectations as the headliner. His set had over 20 songs that ranged from the earliest of his hits to his more recent releases, and even if there hadn’t been actual fireworks, the crowd probably would’ve cheered the entire time, anyway.
Day 2 (Saturday, June 6):
Saturday was the perfect combination of pop rulers and super-gifted underdogs.
Clean bandit impressively captured the crowd ‘early’ in the day and gave them quite a memorable experience with a catchy performance of the hit “Rather Be.” Then Marina and The Diamonds, with her purple catsuit and her raging crowd of furiously dancing fans, made the sun really came out (literally and figuratively) for Day Two.
The performance that everyone is talking about, however, came from the Icelandic artist Björk, whose butterfly (or moth?) outfit took the ‘festival look’ to a new level. Although the crowd seemed to drift away from the stage when her set began, those who remained to see her got a brilliant performance complete with fireworks, once again. We know that her string-section seemed a bit out of place for this kind of festival, but with that kind of performance, who cares?
Day 3 (Sunday, June 7):
We feel like it’s best to start off talking about Day 3 by discussing “Weird Al” Yankovic. “Weird Al” gave the audience a large dose of nostalgia as he performed his musical-parody hits from “White and Nerdy” to “The Saga Begins,” a parody-tribute to the Star Wars series.
The crowd for his performance was one of the most high-energy crowds for the day, and we don’t think it had anything to do with his seven costume changes (although they were quite entertaining).
Then there was the opener for the Black Keys, the DJ Flying Lotus. FlyLo’s heavy beats and weird-yet-oddly-hypnotic production made for a unique and satisfying set.
The headliners for the final evening, Lana Del Ray and the Black Keys, who were assigned to the same time slot on different stages, were not the best two artists to be paired up in such a way.
Lana Del Ray’s crooning, somber ballads were no competition for The Black Keys’ head-banging, guitar heavy rock music.
It’s too bad because we’re sure that the “Young and Beautiful” artist would have put on an amazing show, if only we could hear her.