Words by Shauna Alexander
Photos by Shauna Alexander, Kevin Hulse & Ben Droz
D.C. was out in full force amidst beautiful skies at this year’s Governors Ball on Randall’s Island in New York. The festival, which held something for everyone from locally famous food trucks, croquet, cornhole, FREE WATER (thank god!), and two massive stages (The Hype Machine Stage and the Honda Stage) that ping-ponged back and forth the daily lineup. Saturday, with the likes of Santigold, Chromeo, Major Lazer (and a very fine lookin’ Diplo), Duck Sauce, Passion Pit, Kid Cudi, Special Disco Version (James Murphy and Pat Mahoney of DFA/LCD Soundsystem), Penguin Prison, Walk The Moon, Big Gigantic, Art Vs. Science and more… it was certainly more of an electronic/dance vibe that got the younger crowd excited and pumped. Neon bandeau tops and puffs of curious smoke from the audience became old hat by the end of the very long day. But that didn’t stop us (and maybe it was because we found a box of cigarettes on the ground that helped us get into the party spirit? ahem) from people watching (in the words of the dudebabes I was with, “whoa, this is festival babe heaven” and “these dubstep kids are insane”) and taking it all in stride. I mean, there was full frontal female nudity at one point during the Major Lazer set that I could have CERTAINLY done without seeing….
Sunday, however, was y preferred day both on vibe and line-up. Beck, the charming troubadour that he is, completely nailed a set of greatest hits and a few new tracks once the sun set. Fiona Apple, despite definitely needing at least 20 cheeseburgers, did the same, leaving the audience in anxious anticipation til “Criminal” — the very last song in the set. Explosions in the Sky did what they do best — conjure up emotion and positive vibes without the use of lyrics or gimmicks (it was magical, trust me). Devendra Banhart, Cage The Elephant, The Jezebels (who I was lucky enough to sit down and chat with, so stay tuned for that interview!), Built To Spill, Cults, Phantagram and Alberta Cross rounded out a solid day of live music, one I would definitely be happy enough to repeat.
Killer shots by Kevin Hulse:
And some final snaps by Ben Droz: