The first day of a festival is always the most trying. Figuring out where the bathrooms, stages, vendors and beer tent are located, is all key to enjoying the rest of the weekend. After that, it’s time to plan out your day, can you make it to the Big Apple Stage from the GovBall stage in time to see two of your favorite bands? Once you get settled in it’s time to enjoy the music, and Governors Ball really took care of all musical tastes, in the form of four different stages plus a silent disco tent sponsored by Sennheiser.
Starting the day in a fine mist that would continue until dusk, we took in one of the more rocking sets of the weekend at the Big Apple stage by Black Pistol Fire. The rock-blues-punk duo blew us away with their up-tempo and energetic set and will be keeping our eyes on them from here on.
DIIV was up next, followed by a chain smoking Benjamin Booker who’s raw, bluesy set was a perfect distraction from the rain.
Vance Joy, MO, Death From Above 1979, and especially Charli XCX had the younger crowd amped up during their sets mid-afternoon. Charli XCX was crude, with a mouth like a sailor, but was totally adorable and really had the crowd at her beck and call.
The Decemberists were a zany but yet amazing live band, who’s alternative-folk rock set ended with the epic song “Mariners Revenge,” complete with a large whale that “ate” the entire band except the lead singer.
Florence & The Machine dazzled over at the Gov Ball stage, seemed that even the horde of Drake fans enjoyed her set too!
Ending the night on the Honda stage was the legendary Kentucky rock band, My Morning Jacket. MMJ played a handful of songs off their new album including; Spring, Infancy and Tropics which were well received by the crowd. They sandwiched those between classics such as Gideon, Wordless Chorus, and the raucous closer – One Big Holiday. Despite having a ridiculous tour schedule they were in fine form, especially drummer Patrick Hallahan who’s energy was felt in the very back (as I was told).
For a rainy Friday and a late arriving crowd, it was a fine day overall. The only thing I could gripe about was the festivals ability to get us all out in a timely manner as there were only two bottlenecked exits, for tens of thousands of people to leave – it was a horror show, one that I avoided by leaving earlier the next two nights.
Article: Shayne Hanley with additional photos by Jonathan Miller (jm)