I wish I could tell you that I ventured to Randall’s Island this past weekend to experience all three days of Governor’s Ball. Unfortunately, my checking account couldn’t withstand the blow that comes with paying for a three-day festival pass, enough beer to maintain my buzz during the day, and drunken (and unnecessary) purchases of food. So my friend and I decided to go Saturday–and it was epic. The first performances kicked off at 12:15 pm, but we didn’t show up until around 2. Obviously, we had to pre-game and prepare our road drinks first. It was a beautifully hot, sunny day, which already made it better than my previous Governor’s Ball experience. Last year, the weather had been dreary and overcast, and the ground was completely made of mud. It was like trudging through quicksand. In the first five minutes, the mud swallowed up one of my friend’s shoes, forcing him to go barefoot the rest of the day. When I returned home that night, I had to toss my sneakers in the garbage because of how hopelessly caked with mud they were (this also wasn’t the decision of a sober mind).
Mud= 2. Perrino and friends=0
But I digress. That was last year. This year’s Governor’s Ball promised fun and great music with a line-up that I was very excited to see. Upon arriving, we wandered from tent to tent, relishing the moment and bobbing our heads to unfamiliar bands. I couldn’t tell you who we saw, but most of them were enjoyable. There was only one, Deafhaven I believe, that had me thinking, “What the hell is this?”
The first act we saw that I can legitimately name was Chance The Rapper. This guy I was pumped to see. A few months ago, he made my list for most anticipated rap albums of 2014. Chance is a rising star in hip-hop, and that became evident with the size of his crowd. It was so massive that people were standing outside his tent, watching him spit his lyrics and rock a Superman t-shirt from the outskirts. His set list mostly included tracks from his 2013 mixtape Acid Rap, which is what made him a household name in the hip-hop community. He was pretty nasty, and fans were loving his performance. It’ll be interesting to see just how far this star rises in the coming years.
Once Chance finished, there was more meandering, more drinking, and a sandwich of I-don’t-know-what. We also had to retreat to the shade for a while to escape the heat (#Lebroning). After gaining some life back, my one friend and I decided to sacrifice The Strokes to watch Childish Gambino, Again, this was an artist I was very excited to see. His newest album, because the internet, was as unique as it was enjoyable, and his 2011 album Camp was an awesome piece of music. Aside from his shorts, which just might have been a bit too short, Childish was incredible. He played songs from both albums, many of which had the crowd cheering and throwing their hands in the air. The energy was electric, and Childish was thriving on it. But it was Chance the Rapper’s appearance that really escalated the hype. The duo performed their because the internet collaboration, The Worst Guys. You could tell they were having a blast tearing up that stage. Also, as a side note, Gambino and Chance will be releasing a collaborative EP in the near future, which will probably kick ass. Another side note: Andre 3000 from Outkast was in the front row with his son.
After that, my friend and I, by some divine miracle, found the rest of our group, who had all gone to see The Strokes. “The band killed it,” they said, which wasn’t surprising to hear. We then sat on the mudless ground and watched a band called Spoon. I couldn’t tell you much about them. At this point, the daylong festivities were taking its toll. Our feet were aching, and we were exhausted, hungry, and thirsty for something that wasn’t beer. We all seemed to be on the verge of death, and Spoon did little to rejuvenate us. They were basically only there to lead us into Saturday’s headliners: Skrillex and Jack White. None of us are fans of dubstep, and we all find Jack White to be the better artist. I mean seriously, it doesn’t take much to get on stage and hit Play. Still, there was no way we could pass on the rager that would be Skrillex–and it really was a rager. The entire crowd was doing what my friend and I have called “the heavy bounce.” Basically, you just stand there and bounce forcefully in place, which is pretty much the only way to dance to that loud, robotic music. Still, it was a lot of fun, and there was an awesome laser show to go with it. I thought Skrillex was better than last year’s headliner: Kanye West, who mostly played music off Yeezus while showing us videos of black-hooded KKK members and vicious, barking dogs. You could tell that Skrillex was enjoying himself too. He was standing in what looked like a giant spaceship, clapping his hands and smoking…something the entire time. His performance revitalized us–for a time. Toward the end, that feeling of death crept back, and we had to get the hell out of there. Overall, it was a glorious day, and I look forward to making my return to Governor’s Ball in 2015.
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