Entering the festival grounds on day two of The Governors Ball Music Festival, I was a bit lethargic after getting home well after two in the morning, but my spirits were high and ready for another long day of music.
The first bit of business I had, was to interview Moon Taxi and then talk with Angus & Julia Stone (hit the link to see interviews). Both interviews went as well as expected , being that it was before 1 PM and most bands are just rolling out of bed at that time. I had one more piece of business with the good folks of Sennheiser at the Silent Disco Tent, where they showed me their amazing array of high-end headphones and explained how their products were used in the Silent Disco tent and around the festival, in the form of microphones that recorded every note of the weekend. I left there with a brand new pair of Urbanite XL wireless headphones, which I have since fallen in love with and will have a full review of soon.
The rest of the day was a blur, but between myself and our fearless leader Jonathan, we covered a ton of bands including ASTR, Kate Tempest, White Lung, Moon Taxi, Angus And Julia Stone, Sharon Van Etten, Clean Bandit, Little Dragon, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, Future Islands, Bjork (no photo’s allowed), Conor Oberst, Flume and Ryan Adams.
J. Roddy Walston & The Business, who took over our Instagram account on Saturday, played a brilliant set of garage-blues rock and was one of the better sets of the weekend.
Future Islands may just have been the most energetic band of the weekend and had the Gotham Tent in a complete frenzy of movement and smoke. Lead singer, Samuel T. Herring, dominated the show with high-octane dance moves including the Russian Tea Dance, The Dougie, and even did a little twerking, which was really funny. I could have watched him all day but it was lunch time and had other bands to check out.
Conor Oberst was up next, and as always, he was amazing and is still one of our generations best storytellers and performers.
Flume really had the kids freaking the fuck out and dancing, with a non-stop dance party at the Big Apple Stage.
Ryan Adams finished the night for us, below is Lesley Keller’s recap of his set.
While most of the Gov Ball crowd headed for the main stage Saturday night to catch Deadmau5’ set, I traveled to the other send to the smaller Honda Stage to catch Ryan Adams. I was introduced to Ryan in name only when the news broke of his epic meltdown at a concertgoer who refused to stop using their flash on their mobile phone, which exacerbated Ryan’s Meniere’s disease. Sadly, I hadn’t taken the time I should have to delve into his music, so this was the perfect time for me to get well acquainted.
Propping myself against a side rail to ease the ache in my feet, Ryan’s infamous set design of vintage pinball games, towering stacks of amp cabinets, and a lone Dr. Pepper machine took shape behind where he and his band would stand in minutes to come. The crowd behind me barely reached the soundboard and the thumping music from the main stage was clearly audible, but Ryan and his band took it in stride, joking about us living in a “Terminator nightmare… not the T-1000, the T-800… because that’s old school.” He continued to take shots at the DJ, calling his set “robot music.” I laughed so much at his comments as I admittedly am not a fan of EDM at all. After all of the pissy rain, the muddy shoes, and the drunken revelers of the morning, this evening set was such a chill, relaxed breath of fresh air that I desperately needed. Even the backdrop that sparked to life and mimicked thousands of twinkling stars was so calming and tasteful.
Adams’ insisted there was no ill feelings toward Deadmau5, and went on to play a virtually flawless, heartfelt set. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the guitars… wow. Some of the most incredible tone I’ve heard on a guitar since I saw John Mayer way back in the day. The guys standing next to me kept blurting out “OH MY GOD… dude… he’s so amazing” after every song ended. I commented to another guy standing next to me how I hadn’t had the chance to see him before now, and he said this was the best set he’d seen that day. I enthusiastically nodded my head and agreed. His music may have gotten a bit overshadowed by the booming bass, but Deadmau5 was no match for the rows of fans that came to hear honest songwriting, actual instruments and some fantastic rock n roll.