Of course Purity Ring singer Megan James' voice was as bewitching as ever, but the experimental-pop duo had a stage that looked more like an art installation than a festival showcase. The duo draped the stage in glowing, beaded strings that was even more entrancing given the pouring rain outside and the extra intimacy the Bacardi House roof gave the performance.
Given the reaction to his set, you'd think Duke Dumont was one of the top DJs in America with a feel-good set of '90s house jams that inspired loads of dance circles and had the crowd cheering at every bass drop. Also of note: The entire audience hollered when his 2014 single "I Got U" played, a song that went to No. 1 in the UK, but has yet to connect stateside.
Mac Miller created a frenzy with his unpredictable set, as the crowd (jam-packed with shouting college kids and teens) bounced and raged to his lively tunes. Along with performing “Insomniak,” “Frick Park Market” and “Weekend” with a smiling Miguel, the rapper ignited a “Fuck Donald Trump” chant and began a “Purple Rain” singalong. Oh, and he hands down has the best-sounding bass of all the artists at Governors Ball—a hard feat for the usually crappy acoustics at the Honda Stage.
If you looked at Christine and the Queens and didn't think this French woman could be a dancing machine, you'd be very wrong. The 28-year-old busted moves alongside her backup dancers in such a cool and united fashion that they looked a cohesive dance troupe.
The best thing about attending music festivals is not always the headliners, but the surprise factor of not knowing which artists could pop out on stage at any time! NYC production duo The Knocks set the bar high on Gov Ball’s second day, as their already dizzying set included two special guests: Carly Rae Jepsen and Wyclef Jean! The pop sweetheart came on stage to perform "Love Me Like That,” her collaboration with The Knocks. As for Wyclef? He began a “Killing Me Softly” singalong, dissed Donald Trump, shouted out Prince and performed his tune with The Knocks, "Kiss The Sky.” Talk about a musical whirlwind!
The rain poured the hardest during Miguel's showcase on Day 2 and the R&B star clearly wanted to join in on the fun. Many people stripped down to their undergarments and bathing suits when the unexpected shower hit and Miguel followed suit, pulling off his poncho and crowdsurfing shirtless. Don't believe us? Check out the Twitter video.
The sun was already shining on the first day of Governors Ball, but Beck elevated it even more by bringing the feel-good vibes of his native Los Angeles to the East Coast. The crowd, filled with all ages and backgrounds, gathered to the main stage to soak in energetic performance. Beck’s set included classics like “Blue Moon,” “Loser” and “Devil’s Haircut,” but the moments that stuck in everyone’s minds were not one, not two, but three tributes. The artist covered Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” and “1999,” as well as David Bowie’s “China Girl.” His reference to that infamous 2015 Grammy moment, calling it "the strangest, most amazing moment of my life,” was also a fun treat.
Sure, The Killers didn't have a new record to promote, but the Las Vegas rockers proved they were more than suitable as headliners with a feel-good, energy-filled set that had the crowd dancing and singing along to past hits like "Mr. Brightside," "Somebody Told Me" and "All These Things That I've Done." But they also included surprise covers of Interpol and Elvis Presley, plus a few lesser-known cuts, making it an all-encompassing performance for hardcore Victims and casual music fans alike.
So what if The Strokes headlined Gov Ball just two years ago? The Manhattan band transformed Randalls Island into their own backyard—with hundreds of fans as their guests—as they ripped through yet another wild headlining set on Friday night. The Strokes eased up on the new tunes (they did perform a few from their new Future Present Past EP), and weighed their lineup heavy on undeniable fire starters like “Take it or Leave it” and “Heart in a Cage.” Some critics may dismiss the band’s comeback, but you can’t take away just how damn cool they are.
Blame HAIM for calling on the storm! The sisters’ once-sunny set soon turned into a rain party, with festival-goers letting themselves go to the hands of Mother Nature and soak in the swaying ‘70s-inspired rock pop of HAIM. Their set was incredibly solid for an act with just one album under their belt, as they performed charmers like “If I Could Change Your Mind,” “The Wire” and “Don’t Save Me.” They also snuck in two new tunes from their forthcoming sophomore album, and Este (who doused herself with a water bottle) covered “I Would Die 4 U” in memory of Prince. For us young ones who missed out on Woodstock and Monterey Pop Festival, the free-spirited trio created their own version of that musical bliss.
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