“You’re the best audience of the whole tour,” Chance the Rapper yelled to the surprisingly large crowd huddled under the shady reprieve of the Gotham tent. Rocking a tight-fitting superman t-shirt and accompanied by a live band, the ‘Acid Rap’ rapper was in top form. Blazing through songs from his highly acclaimed Acid Rap mixtape like “Favorite Song” and “Chain Smoker,” he also dropped the crowd favourite “Brain Cells” from his 10 Day mixtape, a new song, and a cover of the theme song from Arthur. All the while busting out dance movies that would make any Mo-Town performer proud.
After Chance the Rapper, we headed out from under the shade of the Gotham tent and made our way to the Honda stage for British electronic duo, Disclosure. Despite it already being a scorcher of a day, Disclosure managed to turn the heat up even more, creating a full-out dance party. “When a fire starts to burn” indeed, from the sun, melting our faces off. Because it is New York, when the boys started their set with “F for you,” everyone held their collective breath, waiting for the queen of R&B, Mary J Blige to take to the stage and repeat Coachella. Unfortunately though, this did not happen. We were treated however, to the lovely vocal accompaniment of Aluna George, who came out to perform the hit track “White Noise”. Perhaps it was all the guest appearances, or perhaps the recently set sun of the California Desert, but their Coachella set was much more “gripping”.
After the heatwave dance session, we fond ourselves floating towards the distinctive vocals of James Mercer, lead singer of Broken Bells, which rang across the lengthily expanse of the Gov Ball stage. With Danger Mouse and the live band playing hits from the groups two albums perfectly, it was a delightful change of pace. It was very enjoyable. What more can we say?
Despite the early set time, the real headliners of Day two of the 2014 Governors Ball were hometown heroes, The Strokes. Performing their first New York City show in over three years, the band showed up almost 20 minutes late (which is the equivalent to two hours normal concert wait time) and sauntered onto the stage. Giving it their full “don’t give a fuck” cool guy treatment, the Lower East Side’s super hero rockers effortlessly breezing through their discography of smokey, low-fi, late night rock songs. Perhaps because it wasn’t 2am on Ludlow, the whole thing was a bit bothersome. Don’t get me wrong, the strokes are dope as fuck, effortlessly even, but it just made me hungry for Mission Chinese. Why’d it close!? By the end of their set, they had the hometown crowd so worked up that they performed “New York City Cops” as an encore, which is something you don’t do unless you are the headliner.
Meanwhile, over at the Honda Stage, comedian-turned-rapper Childish Gambino was lighting the place up. Literally, there was fire! Acting like a vacuum, the Strokes had sucked ALL but the most diehard of fans, and non-New Yorkers over to the main stage. Yet, gave it his all, even pointing out in a freestyle his less than desirable time-slot with “They put me against The Strokes, and I was like no n****s are gonna show up, but now The Strokes are playing, and all you n****s showed up.” It wouldn’t be a music festival with out at least some guest appearances, and Gambino delivered, calling out his friend Chance The Rapper, who joined him on onstage and performed the verse that was meant to be on “Worst Guys”, but wasn’t because chance couldn’t “submit his verse on time”. The verse was really good.
Capping off an perfect second was a very special performance from the recently reunited Spoon. Having added a new band member, from Britt Daniels most recent project Divine Fits. Managing to pull a diverse crowd from young fans to older seasoned veterans. Daniels is no slouch and knows exactly what his audience wants and as such played a health mix of all his hits from the extensive Spoon discography. It was the perfect way to end a perfect day.
Take a look at the pictures below.
Chance The Rapper at the Gotham Tent
Disclosure at the Honda Stage
Broken Bells at the Gov Ball Stage
The Strokes at the Gov Ball Stage
Childish Gambino at the Honda Stage
Spoon at The Big Apple Stage