It was set to be a whole day of peace, love and rock ‘n’ r… Well not exactly, but Governors Island was hosting its first festival of the summer, Governors Ball. The ferries were on the starting blocks, the kegs were waiting to be tapped, the funnel cakes ready for their fryers, the lemons waiting to be squeezed, and the photo booth manned by The Culture of Me ready to shoot an increasingly inebriated crowd. After a last sound check, the first concertgoers started trickling into the concert area, while the two bands started playing.
To the right, from Darthlantaville, GA, the indie pop of Reptar with its demented keyboard player and barefoot lead singer. To the left, from da Yonkers, NY, the alternative and preppy hip-hop of Outasight.
These bands set the tone of the festival. One stage, Gotham, more focused on hip-hop artists and the other, Big Apple, showcasing indie bands. While there were two stages, the set times were not simultaneous, allowing the crowd to move around and enjoy all the performances.
Passion Pit cranked it up with a DJ set mixing just about everything and the kitchen sink. Then Das Racist took over the ever-growing crowd, the trio easily winning the award for the best hip-hop performance of the day with their genuine energy.
On the Gotham stage, Mac Miller was followed by People Under the Stairs and started building up the crowd and the hype for Outcast’s Big Boi who stormed the stage to a bouncing audience, unleashing all the power of his elocution.
The other stage hosted Miami Horror and its stage-climbing lead, as well the indie-hipsters Neon Indian sporting a theremin.
It is when the sun started setting that the real party started. The Asian-infused act Empire of the Sun took the stage to finish warming up the party crowd in extravagant turquoise colors and sporting Prince moves.
Once the sun had set and the adults had gone home, Girl Talk and his crowd of dancers and TP blowers unleashed his usual frenzied beats to a phosphorescent and bouncy multitude.
Pretty Lights, on top of his city’s skyline concluded the festival with a relaxed tempo and urban decor, allowing the party to chill before taking the numerous boats back to the city.
-words & photos: Alexis Maindrault