Sunday, June 9, 2013

Live Review - Governors Ball Day 2

After the rain came the mud and plenty of it. The second day of Governors Ball on Randalls Island looked like a 21st Century Woodstock thanks in part to the prior days severe weather. Yet, fans and bands made the most of it and what was to come for the day ahead.

On arrival we went to Icona Pop, the Swedish dance duo have taken the world by storm thanks to their catchy thrill-a-second song, "I Love It," inside the SKY Vodka Tent they packed in an impressive early afternoon crowd that were dancing and having fun but while the duo's other songs had the people going, it was their summer anthem that everyone came to hear that had everyone go crazy. From then on the same stage was Canadian hardcore / punks, Fucked Up. The band simply tore up the place and had remarkable sound that while they did not draw in the crowd like Icona Pop, they sure moved them in a much more insane way. Singer Damian Abraham told the audience after he jumped into the crowd, "We have played festivals all over the fucking world, this is by far the filthiest, grossest festival we have ever fucking played." He then proceeds to start a "New! York! City!" chant before breaking out into a song from their latest EP, Year of the Rabbit. While their set was a fun, thrash-a-minute performance, it was off to see the Mercury Prize winning Alt-J. The British band drew an impressive crowd to the Honda Stage and while the sun baked the people in attendance, the band sent out relaxed vibes and sounds from their intricate electronic alternative music. While Alt-J have made a name for themselves back home, it seems they are finally catching on to audiences in the U.S. After hearing their unique music, it was off to Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes. The band, which have become a festival staple over the years delivered a very fun and carefree set and since the grounds looked like Woodstock, it was time to feel like we were traveling back in time to the famous festival and Edward Sharpe was going to be commanding our time machine. From there it was back to the Tent for Azelia Banks, the New York rapper delivered a wild set featuring heavy beats, old school DJing and backup dancers and plenty of fresh attitude. If there was ever a woman that would kill Kendrick Lamar's vibe, it would be Banks.

After their headline set was cancelled thanks to the weather the night before, it was rumored through the morning that Kings of Leon would play at some point on Saturday. The Nashville band are back in action these days and ramping up the release of their forthcoming album, Mechanical Bull. By the early afternoon, the rumors had become fact as the Followill fraternity were going to be rocking in the sun for the crowd that missed them the night before. Their thunderous headlining set was made into a perfect day set at the Gov Ball Stage where singer Caleb Followill said, "Today we are the opening act, and we are ok with that, we are glad we are able to play for you all." He then mentioned that the band cancelled a trip to London so they could perform for their fans, which, as much shit as anyone wants to give this band these days is something to set aside, what an amazing and cool thing to do and what a gesture. "Our gear is on a plane, so we had to borrow some stuff, I don't know what it looks like behind us on these screens, but we are just happy to play, thanks for coming out," Caleb said. The band played a greatest hits heavy set and slipped in a few new songs that they were debuting live for the first time and they managed to slip perfectly into place with some of the classic Kings material. A real highlight and pleasure of the day. Welcome back, Kings of Leon.

As the sun set, the Tent was warming up again thanks to Thievery Corporation. The jazz/reggae band were setting the tone and timing of the night perfectly and while fans were getting in last minute drinks, food, and bathroom breaks before the headliners, they had a solid set to have in the back. Skipping Guns 'N Roses and whatever antics fat Axl has these days, it was a hometown throwdown for Nas who would be at the Honda Stage. While the rapper, who grew up just across the river in Queens, had massive sound issues for a majority of his set, it was a greatest hits set that had fans going well into the night.