While Day 1 of Governors Ball was an exercise in the new, Day 2 was more my speed. Featuring a solid blend of rock both past and present, the scene and music was dramatically different from Day 1.
What Kid Cudi could not do, Beck did and that was headline a large festival stage. Not quite a dynamic force on stage, Beck was incredibly solid and nothing if not impeccable. He knew how to work the crowd and his setlist showcased his diverse genre busting catalogue. From the opening of “Black Tambourine” to hits like “Devil’s Haircut” and “The Golden Age,” Beck even had time to fulfill the dreams of many fans by playing “Loser.”
Beck was a great way to end the fest and showed the tremendous progress of Governors Ball in its second year. Here’s hoping to a third term of Governors Ball.
In the supporting role for Beck was Modest Mouse. Doing double duty and also playing Orion Music Fest the day before, the band was energized with Issac Brock being thoroughly engaging throughout the set. No new material was unveiled but there was still plenty to like from the set. Musically, Modest Mouse were simply rocking, delivering plenty of muscle to the songs to match the urgency of Brock’s vocals.
From “Bury Me With It,” “Fire it Up,” “Shit Luck” to set closer “Missed the Boat,” there was a sense of purpose to be found in Modest Mouse’s performance.
Full review and photos from every act at Governors Ball Day 2 after the jump.
Day 2 started out totally different than Day 1. Beats were replaced with guitar riffs with opening acts Turf War and Alberta Cross. Turf War did their best to whip up the early risers in the crowd. Alberta Cross continued that trend although not as high-energy as Turf War. A little more Southern rock inspired was Cross and it was a perfect compliment to the warm sun.
The Jezabels were the first of four female-led acts of the day and they ventured into the indie pop-rock world for a nice detour. A little poppier than what came before it, The Jezabels were made to play in summer festivals. Bouncing songs with plenty of hooks to get fest goers interested.
I still cannot connect with Freelance Whales and their precious blend of indie pop. It is all a little too cutesy for me and a lot of it feels like its adding elements and instruments like the glockenspiel just because they can.
Phantogram was my first must catch artist and they definitely lived up to the hype. They have a dedicated fan following and it is easy to see why. Songs just felt big and dynamic. It was easy to get lost in the swirling rhythms and I hope to catch them in a more intimate setting soon.
Cults continued the streak of must-catch acts, which are pretty much every band from this point on. Madeleine Follin swayed in a short dress in the breeze and the blissful indie pop, while not quite reaching the heights of their recorded work, was quite refreshing.
Devendra Banhart probably has the best fans, if not some of the most loyal. Fans simply loved Banhart and his poetic pop. Nothing really picking up tempo, the songs were engaging and a wonderfully intimate experience that made you forget you we’re at a festival.
Indie veterans Built to Spill fit right in with all the new acts. Something about creating good music makes bands feel timeless. While BTS is reminiscent of indie rock’s past, it still played perfectly to modern ears.
Cage the Elephant were an exercise in how to own a stage. Never stopping, lead singer Matt Schultz crowd surfed his way to our hearts. This was the other act also playing Orion and their set at Governors was their last. Not forever just while they went off into the studio to record their new album.
Fiona Apple had a buzz that rivaled any act on the bill. There was anticipation and a real sense of something special to Apple’s set. Despite her taking a hiatus, her gifts did not go away resulting in one of the most rewarding sets of the weekend.
While Apple brought a quiet intensity, Explosions in the Sky built a captivating set on noise. By far the loudest set of the fest, songs swelled to sweeping heights and reflective periods of relative quiet.
Explosions in the Sky
Cage the Elephant
Built to Spill