Running on little sleep, I made my way back to Governor’s Island for Day 2 of the Escape Music Festival. The weather was decidedly better, sunny and quite warm for an October afternoon; nevertheless, it would be another fantastic day of music.
The crowd was slow to trickle in, most likely still recovering from the night before. When The Most Definitely took the stage around 2:30pm, the crowd got into gear started grooving to the music. I resorted to my other dance move, the subtle sway©.
All around the festival there was a buzz brewing about Tesla Boy, who trekked all the way from Moscow for this festival. I gave them my undivided attention and I was rewarded with very danceable (swayable) synth-pop. The foursome attracted quite a large crowd for so early in the day, which only seemed to multiply as their set progressed. A sign of many more shows in the states to come, I’m sure.
Over at the El Row stage, the party was well under way. The tent had been decorated in intricate foliage, vines and tendrils hanging from the structure and draped across the lighting. It was set up to mimic the party that occurs in the early morning hours on Sundays in Barcelona. Just imagine the craziest rave you’ve ever attended times ten.
ASTR. No introduction needed. They put on an incredible show. I haven’t seen someone dance as much as lead vocalist Zoe did in a long time! I’ve seen many people try and fail at dancing + singing, but she succeeded in every way possible. Strong vocals and tons of swag; I couldn’t look away. Adam, her counterpart was no slouch either, manning the synths and keyboards to craft ASTR’s signature sound they dubbed “Noire & B”.
After a bit of running around and another pit stop for those delicious buffalo wings again, I managed to make it back in time for Mayer Hawthorne‘s set. I’ve seen him many times in the past at much smaller venues as he was starting his journey as a soul crooner, but this was my first time seeing him in a festival setting. What a showman. At first I was a little nervous to see the crowd reaction to a soul artist performing at an electronic music festival, but in the end, he won the crowd over. Walking around the festival, there were a ton of people dancing, and if there was someone standing still, they would soon follow suit. I even caught the security guards dancing throughout his set. He plays what I’ve come to know as “grown folks music” – the kind of music you wait until the kids are in bed to listen to. It was an oasis in a sea of thumping bass and lasers. I loved it.
The night ended with Girl Talk and their well-known antics. I didn’t get to catch their set, but I heard they delivered copious amounts of confetti, which is always welcomed.
Overall, I’d count the inaugural Escape Music Festival a success. I saw a ton of artists and bands that I might not have ever heard in my ordinary travels, which is always a great thing. Looking forward to an even bigger and better lineup next year.
Article by: Lesley Keller