Governors Ball Hangover: What We Learned In the Mud
  • MONDAY, JUNE 10, 2013

  • Posted by: Matt Howard

Sitting here at my desk this Monday morning through the haze of a dehydrated MDMA-induced hangover, I try to recuperate while reliving my weekend at Governors Ball on Randall's Island. In a joint effort to recap and recuperate, I've decided to point out a few observations that I made throughout the three days.

Mud sucks, but does it? For many years numerous summer "festivals" have attempted to set up camp in New York City, but none of them found a way to 'stick'. Because of this, festivalgoers from other parts of the country scoffed at the idea of a NYC fest, and it really hampered on the metro area's fan credibility. Suddenly, we have Governors Ball, which this past weekend celebrated its third birthday, whose Friday weather turned Randall's Island into a mud pie with a harsh scent of cow pie. But the fans stuck it out to see their favorite bands. Perhaps it's because they paid a hefty fee for their passes, but I'm going to hope it was at least a bit of devotion to the bands.

Teen Taste Disparity. Walking across the bridge yesterday, I was behind the two most awful humans I've ever encountered. Neither was a day over 16, both dressed like hipster 80s Madonnas, sharing a blunt (that's what kids smoke these days, right?) and talking about worthless shit. One was soooo excited to see The Lumineers, the other was super concerned whether or not her backwards bandana made her look enough like Tupac. Before I ground my teeth to dust, I flashed back to Saturday, where I saw thousands of teens treading through the mud to ogle at Alt-J. This reminded me that there's still hope in the younger generations.

Yeasayer is on another level. I received a text while I was leaving Foals that read, "Get to Yeasayer now, it's dance party '09 up in this bitch." So I, of course, rushed my ass over to the trench-foot dance floor. Yeasayer put on what I'd consider the best performance of the entire festival.

Hunter rain boots finally proved their worth. Tom's Shoes, however, not so much.

Fucked Up met their muddy match. The Toronto post-hardcore gross out group's frontman Damian Abraham indulged in the mucked up Skyy Vodka Tent like a pig in shit. The dude seems to have lost a bit of weight, but he remains an animal with showmanship like no other.

MTV employees have shitty senses of humor. So I met a few people from MTV and they asked where I worked. "Baeblemusic," I said. "It's a music video website." One scoffed, "You're a music video website?" To which I replied, "Someone's got to do it, am I right?!" with a cheeky, bad joke elbow. They didn't get it, but that's probably because they were the punch line.

Kanye is a god. I must admit that this was my first Kanye experience, and I went into it with a certain sense of scrutiny. Arriving at the main stage an hour early, I luckily squeezed into a decent spot, where I waited...and waited. Kanye hit the stage around 20 minutes late, but he totally made up for it by playing for nearly two hours. Best of all: he performed the outstanding new song off Yeezus "Black Skinhead" twice. The dude's stage show was just as magnetic as his performance, with the screens capturing him on stage with a strange, hipster Sin City sepia tone. I was honestly expecting a prima donna performance and a bunch of ranting, but the guy was a machine. He played nearly all of his classic hits, and only ranted once, and it wasn't even that annoying! Hearing new songs like "New Slaves", "On Site", and "I Am A God", mixed in with his previous work made his musical transition palpable. The dude is making music like nothing we've ever heard before, and if Big Kim is the muse behind it all, I'm all for it. Maybe the progression isn't so much in his lyrics; notice in "I Am A God", where he belts, "I am a God, hurry up with my damn massage / Hurry up with my damn menage," and I could've sworn I heard him demanding for croissants in the same song. Watch the new songs below:

And another new song featuring Snoop (insert animal here):

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