Florence and the Machine at Governors Ball 2015

By Will Oliver, August 4th 2015

1_Florence + The Machine_Governors Ball 2015

With brand new record How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (released via Island Records), Florence and The Machine has regained her status as one of the biggest voices in pop music. Only there’s a depth to her large scale anthems that is typically lost in artists that fall on the giant umbrella of “pop.”

She’s been touring hard in support of the album, even after breaking her leg after a accidental fall of the stages of Coachella. Even with the injury, she delighted at her very intimate show at Music Hall of Williamsburg in May, a much more intimate performance than the one that happened a month later at Governors Ball.

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Florence not only had one of the biggest draws of the entire weekend at Governors Ball, but possibly ever. The only performance I can remember being that packed to the point where you almost couldn’t move, was The Strokes last year.

She was able to move around this time, and her performance was all the better for it. There’s no question she has the songs and the voice to play main stages of any festival, and there’s no denying that she will be doing it for a long time in the many remaining years of her exciting career.
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Avenue – “Our Love” (Feat. Tokyo Police Club)

By Will Oliver, August 4th 2015


Avenue is the project of 21-year-old Toronto native Sam Willows, who has been creating some crafty dance and pop remixes, and now is venturing out with some tunes of his own.

It will come in the form of Keep Counting, his debut EP, which Toronto-based label Haven Sounds will release on October 2. Up first is the EP’s delightful first single, “Our Love.” It features the vocals of Tokyo Police Club’s Dave Monks, whose vocals add a lush and dreamy summer vibe, that will work for any party reaching into the depths of the night, or morning.

It’s a promising welcome for Mr. Willows, who is definitely an artist to keep on in the dance/electronic scene.

Stream and enjoy “Our Love” below.
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The Decemberists at Governors Ball 2015

By Will Oliver, August 3rd 2015

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Folk-rockers The Decemberists are no longer the underdogs (like they may have been the last time I saw them play), but the sort of band who commands a strong presence at any music festival. Although they’ve certainly proved themselves, it’s still strange thinking of the group as a major label band who just released their seventh album, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World back in January (via Capitol Records).

The group ran through many tracks from the new record, along with long-standing favorites such as “16 Military Wives” and “O Valencia!” Frontman and lead singer, Colin Meloy, found hilariously noted that it was their first time playing alongisde a toll both (Randall’s Island Park is right near the RFK bridge). No matter the scenery, they delighted the audience with a tight performance perfect for a summer day, even if they did play “Anti-Summersong.”

Below, find photos of their Governors Ball performance posted below, along with their setlist.
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Chromeo at Governors Ball 2015

By Will Oliver, August 3rd 2015

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If Governors Ball has any veterans, it’s gotta be electro-funk rockers Chromeo, a familiar name that has graced the stage many times at Randall’s Island Park. Only this year was their biggest moment to date, as the band took over a mid-afternoon set at the mainstage.

The appearance followed their longstanding tour for last year’s White Women. The duo of Dave 1 and P-Thugg rose to the occasion big time, getting everyone in the crowd to show off their best fancy footwork. They had a few tricks up their sleeve, teasing the all-too-familiar guitar riff of Vampire Weekend’s “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.” The tease wasn’t random, as soon enough Chromeo was joined by Vampire Weekend’s very own Ezra Koenig, who then launched into a full on version of the track, and stuck around to help out on “Bonafied Lovin (Tough Guys).” It was a very New York moment, one that the city didn’t take for granted.

Find some shots from the performance posted below, along with a video of Ezra’s appearance.
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MØ at Governors Ball 2015

By Will Oliver, August 3rd 2015

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Seeing Danish pop-star is always a treat. Formally known as Karen Ørsted, the singer has seen a significant rise in her stock in recent months thanks to her featured vocal spot on Major Lazer’s successful single “Lean On.”

I first saw the result of this back at Boston Calling in May, and this carried over yet again at Governors Ball back in June, where Ørsted rocked the Gotham Tent with confidence and ease. I’ve watched her grow as an artist over the years, and she continues to impress. It’s only a matter of time before she starts taking over the festival main stages.

Find more photos from her Governors Ball set posted below.
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Charli XCX at Governors Ball 2015

By Will Oliver, July 30th 2015

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The sun came out and pushed the cloudy skies away just in time for the set of English pop star Charli XCX, who used the sunshine to her advantage in a devastatingly fun set that got the midday crowd into party mode.

She ran through tracks off last year’s Sucker (out via Atlantic Records), such as the all too familiar “Boom Clap,” and “Famous.” Charli also integrated “I Love It,” her massive collaboration with Icona Pop that took over the radio in 2013.

Her set was a constant ball of energy, delivering a colorful performance brought to life vividly with props such as a giant inflatable guitar. Even though pop music isn’t traditionally my thing, her set was infectious and hard not to enjoy. I only was able to catch the first half, but it was a lot of fun.

Find more photos from her set posted below.
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Benjamin Booker at Governors Ball 2015

By Will Oliver, July 30th 2015

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There’s a revival of old school rock and roll at the moment, helped by up and coming artists such as New Orleans’ Benjamin Booker.

Booker’s smokey garage rock comes dipped in the roots of bluesy rock of an older time, given a fresh-faced revival that feels alive and well. He first caught my attention opening for Mac DeMarco at House Of Vans last summer, and he took his game that much further with an impressive showing at Governors Ball in June. His 2014 self-titled debut album (released via ATO Records) got deserved acclaim last year, and he’s already an accomplished live performer with all the confidence in the world.

The future of rock and roll is looking that much brighter with artists like Booker climbing the ranks.

Find some more photos from his Governors Ball performance posted below.
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Weird al

Tonight the iconic spoof-master Weird Al Yankovic makes his return to the New York area with a performance at the beautiful Capitol Theatre. This follows his highly praised performance at Governors Ball last month.

The show and tour (dubbed “The Mandatory World Tour”) come in support of his 2014 album Mandatory Fun, released via RCA Records. Anyone whose seen a show from Weird Al before knows that it’s not your ordinary performance. Full of costume, wardrobe and set changes, it’s as much as comedic theatrical performance as a concert. As someone whose seen a ton of shows, getting to see Weird Al perform for the first time at Governors Ball was unlike any show that I’ve ever seen before.

There are still a select number of tickets for tonights performance available to purchase here, and possibly at the door. Don’t miss it, you never know when Weird Al will return next.
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DIIV at Governors Ball 2015

By Will Oliver, July 29th 2015

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Zachary Cole Smith’s DIIV will return with their anticipated new album Is the Is Are later this year via Captured Tracks. Back in May they stopped by Baby’s All Right to play most, if not all, of the new album. They followed that performance a month later which a much bigger showing at Governors Ball.

This time they integrated a few tracks off their debut album Oshin in between the new songs as a bit of a cushion for the festival audience. The new songs did well the spacious festival setting, sounding almost fitting for the ominous weather that just didn’t want to give up.

There’s still no official release date for Is the Is Are, but we can hopefully expect to hear it soon.

Find photos from DIIV’s set at Governors Ball posted below.
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