Governor’s Ball Review
Randall’s Island in New York City is best known for the city’s premiere electronic dance music festival, Electric Zoo. Subtract the ravers and thumping beats and you get the laid-back, summery atmosphere of Governor’s Ball. The best part about the fest is that none of the sets overlap, so there’s no sprinting to and from various stages to see your favorite acts, an all too common problem with EDM festivals; artists and attendees alike win in this situation, making for a happy crowd.
The first day’s lineup was packed with a variety of indie-electronic acts, including the elusive Passion Pit and the party-ready Major Lazer. The wild performance by Diplo and Jillionare, the new partner in Major Lazer, belied its early slot in the lineup. The dancers were shaking their booties, Diplo was hopping up on the DJ booth, and new ML hype man Walshy Fire emerged in a human sized hamster-style ball and walked over the crowd. For the most part, a Major Lazer set is not the ; the crowd broke out their best dance moves for sounds ranging from throwback dancehall music to dubstep to original Major Lazer productions such as “Hold The Line” and “Original Don.” It’s safe to say that this was an outrageously fun yet tiring set.
After heading over to the Silent Disco [need explanation of Silent Disco tent here], Nobody Beats The Drum took control as headliners of the stage. The Dutch trio delivers captivating audio/visual productions that are more of an experience rather than strictly DJ a performance. Hopping back over to the main stage, the sounds of “Chro-me-o, ooo-ooh” fell across the fields. Dave 1 and P-Thugg, hovering over keyboards mounted atop faux female legs, showed that their music has both swag and spunk. “Groovy” is the perfect word to describe the stylish duo’s electro-funk vibe.
Next up were Dave 1’s brother A-Trak and Armand Van Helden, known collectively as Duck Sauce. A giant duck was blown up on stage like a superhero bath toy, matching their addicting, silly songs such as “Barbra Streisand”. Walking through the crowd, dance-off circles and makeshift limbo contests abounded. Not only fun, the set was also an important one for the group: it marked the first time the duo performed together in NYC. Needless to say, the crowd would certainly welcome them back with open arms.
Passion Pit, who have been in hiding for the past two years, had a much anticipated performance. The sun had set behind them, offering up a view of the stage lights for the first time. After busting out anthems such as “The Reeling” in the beginning of the set, plus new song “Take A Walk”, the crowd seemed drained. The vocals were lost in the mix as well, going from pitchy to none at all. Honestly, although a live Passion Pit show is hard to find, their set lacked the energy of the electronic acts before them.
Governor’s Ball was more relaxed than normal EDM shows, a welcome break from all the fist-pumping. The biggest treat of the festival was the plentiful food trucks and stands that fueled everyone throughout the day with some of NYC’s most mouth-watering eats. Bottom line: Governor’s Ball was the perfect way to spend an easy, breezy Saturday afternoon during an NYC summer.