Governors Ball brought out the best in Chance the Rapper, Lorde, and more
Governors Ball was on some ultra light beams this year.
In contrast to last year’s event, and the chaotic Kanye West cancellation due to severe rain, this year’s festival went off without a hitch or unmanageable port-a-potty line — which made the $300 fans paid for three-day tickets seem worth it.
Yeezy even managed make an impression when Chance the Rapper and Local Natives performed his music at the festival, held on Randall’s Island Park in New York City.
Between the rambunctious mosh pits of A$AP Ferg and the chill vibes of Michael Kiwanuka, the festival managed to deliver fun for every sort of music fan. Here are the standouts sets from this year’s festival.
Lorde’s set was downright supernatural. Her new material from Melodrama soared live, as did her cover of Robyn’s “Hang With Me” with collaborator Jack Antonoff. Lorde broke up the set with charming stage banter about being a witch who controls the weather and dying alone. Normal pop star stuff.
Los Angeles’ own Local Natives looked comfortable as ever during their sunny Saturday set. The band flew through hits while reminding the crowd of their first show in New York City—at Pianos, FYI. Vocalist Taylor David Rice jumped into the crowd to sing with fans, but one of the highlights of their actual set was a live rendition of last year’s “Ultralight Beam” by Kanye West. Straight chills.
Chance the Rapper
No one comes out to a festival in full force like Chance the Rapper fans. The 24-year-old Chicago native closed out the festival’s first night, one of his biggest shows yet—or at least on his “Be Encouraged” tour. His hits were all accepted with smiles and plenty of “igh igh igh” were heard throughout the crowd.
Not only did he perform a stunning rendition of “Ultralight Beam” with a choir, but he brought out Francis and The Lights and Ty Dolla Sign to help him out, and well … don’t miss out next time he comes around is all we’re saying.
Donald Glover pulled up on the stage to a thunderous reception from the only audience that would see the rapper perform live this year, according to man himself. Bathed in blue light and wearing gauzy white ensemble, Glover made his way through a healthy mix of his body of work—all while dropping “Redbone” meme references, revealing the name of his son, and announcing that the next Gambino album would be his last. We don’t blame him—with his role in the upcoming Star Wars film, and Atlanta Season 2, the man has a lot on his plate.
But all the critically acclaimed roles and attention didn’t stop him from meeting fans at their level. Literally, as he proved on Saturday when he jumped off stage into the crowd to adjust a fan’s phone. If you’re lucky enough to catch him in 2018, remember to film him while holding your iPhone horizontal, not vertical.
If you’re performing in front of a bunch of rowdy fans hyped beyond belief to see you on the Governers Ball stage, might as well get comfy. That’s exactly what Schoolboy Q did when he took off his shoes and blazed through a set filled with throwbacks (remember this song?) and offerings from his latest project, “Blank Face LP.”
Kehlani was your favorite act’s favorite act at Governors Ball and it’s easy to see why — she’s got pipes. Lorde gave the singer a shoutout during her set and Chance the Rapper danced along. She delivered standouts from her latest project “Sweet Sexy Savage,” complete with impressive dance moves, voguing and her signature swagger. When Kehlani comes back to the festival, there’s no doubt the former America’s Got Talent contestant will be headlining.
If you know Drake, then you probably know OVO Sound. If you know the label, then you might have heard of Majid Jordan. On Saturday, he brought his R&B to the dark Bacardi stage of Governors Ball, along with one of the best light shows of the festival—fog included—transforming the tent into a ethereal experience. There were a few “who are they” remarks overheard toward the beginning of the show, but after the sorta set he had, there’s no denying he won’t be a household name soon.
There’s no doubt this year’s festival was better than last year, weather aside. After a weekend of all different ages, races, and genders on an island celebrating life through live music, it’s time to unfortunately come to terms with the fact that Governors Ball has officially come and gone.
See you all next year.
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