Words by Audra Tracy and Dan Schaffel | Photos by Michel Dussack
By Day 3, the party people of Governors Ball had fully embraced their muddy playground like happy hogs in a pigpen. After all, ‘good clean fun’ is totally overrated anyway, right?
Sure, the weekend would have been much different had the weather cooperated, but hats off to the Governors Ball and Big Hassle crews for rolling with the punches and doing their best to keep a smile on every fan’s face.
Sunday’s line-up proved to be a doozy – getting to catch performances by The Vaccines, Cold War Kids, The Lumineers, and Bloc Party all in one afternoon is something festival dreams are made of, only to be topped by a show-stopping appearance by Yeezus himself…
The ground under the Honda Stage seemed to rumble on Sunday afternoon as UK garage-rockers The Vaccines hosted their own kind of British Invasion. If you were still shaking off those sleepy-eyes from Day 2, this was the set that lit the fuse on the dynamite line-up for Day 3. Eager fans up front could be seen bouncing along to rowdy tunes from the band’s latest LP, Come of Age, including ‘I Always Knew’. Whether you were familiar with their catalog or not, this high energy set certainly cured whatever ailed ya.
Cold War Kids
The quartet from Long Beach, CA played to a wide-eyed generation of indie rock enthusiasts upon the Honda Stage just before sunset on the final day of this year’s event. Taking most material from the 2007 debut Robbers & Cowards and 2013’s Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, the CWK showed how their sound has evolved from being reminiscent of Joy Division into something closer to The Black Keys. Not playing a well executed ‘Hang Me Up to Dry’ would have left the fans unfulfilled, so after such a wet and wild weekend it was only fitting they play the tune that took them to the mainstream. It remains to be seen if they’ll ultimately hang up older songs for good, or if their first foot in the door will always be a part of the live repertoire.
“We are gonna channel voltage and spray it all over your faces”, Bradford Cox declared at the start of Deerhunter’s set over at the You’re Doing Great Stage. While it was a lofty promise, the Atlanta based experimental rockers were sure to follow through on it. Strangely infectious songs from their brand new LP Monomania dominated the performance, including the title track and ‘Sleepwalking’.
Denver’s latest radio sensation took to a very receptive Honda Stage crowd Sunday evening. The Lumineers played the hell out of the songs off of their freshman self-titled LP, which included highlights like ‘Stubborn Love’ and ‘Big Parade’. Bob Dylan’s influence oozed throughout their folk melodies, meeting their indie uptempo approach with catchy hooks. And as the audience lovingly sang along to the chorus of their smash hit song ‘Ho Hey’, it was easy to see how humbled the band was. Let’s all hope they stay true to the sound they’ve created on their next release.
Under the Skyy Vodka tent (which looked more like a private airplane hangar) is where Bloc Party plugged in for one of the last sets of the weekend. Taking tracks off Silent Alarm and Four to new heights sent everyone’s energy levels soaring, especially when hits like ‘Helicopter’ and ‘Banquet’ dropped into the set. Ironic that the ‘tent’ looked as it did: once BP landed, they took off and never came back.
Taking the stage within 30 minutes of his scheduled start time was the first of many things that pleased the Governors Ball audience who were about to see the final main stage act of the weekend. The stage was layered with lights pointing directly at the crowd as Kanye West opened with ‘Black Skinhead’, a heavily EDM-influenced track off the upcoming album Yeezus. Dark religious themes and deep resonating bass filled the first half of his set, which included the new songs ‘I Am A God’, ‘New Slaves’, as well as Kanye’s staple ‘Jesus Walks’. Tunes off 2007’s Graduation followed in the form of ‘Flashing Lights’, ‘Good Life’ and ‘Stronger’, before crushing a ‘Diamonds from Sierra Leone’ mashed up with the voice of Rihanna singing ‘Diamonds (In the Sky)’. The dark themes stayed present with ‘Heartless’, ‘Runaway’ and ‘Power’, but all were well received with West’s high energy, big production performance.
See you next year!!!
TheWaster.com | Gov Ball 2013