by Dana Heyward; Photos by author
Governor’s Ball can be said to be the East Coast counterpart to Coachella as it is easily one of the most diverse representations of music all in one place. I don’t know many concerts where you can listen to rock legend, Axl Rose belt out “Welcome to the Jungle,” and just across the field you’ll find the rapper Nas, spitting out some of his hits. This was only Governor’s Ball third year in existence and its biggest lineup to date. Headliners of the three-day festival included Kings of Leon, Kanye West, The Avett Brothers and smaller acts such as Local Natives, Dirty Projectors, and Portugal, The Man. It was definitely its year to earn some music festival cred.
Despite the nearly-perfect weather on Saturday, the damage from the torrential rain on Friday sustained throughout the rest of the festival. As soon as I passed the festival gates I was faced with the inevitable challenge of making it through the deep mud. Unfortunately, I did not get the mud memo before heading to the festival and wore white converse that ended up getting trashed by the end of the night. But even those who wore rain boots still struggled around the muddy trenches that seemed to get progressively worse throughout the day. But despite the conditions, concert-goers still braved the elements to see their favorite bands and artists. Many chucked their shoes and just ended up barefoot. Plus seeing people helping out fellow concert-goers in the mud made the whole ordeal feel like a true team effort.
After stuffing our faces with some pricey yet amazing shrimp rolls from Luke’s Lobster, we decided to head down to the Skyy Vodka tent to catch Robert DeLong, who seemed to surprise almost everyone in attendance. The American singer/DJ performed his crowd-pleasing radio hit “Global Concepts” but went on to perform some new songs that kept everyone on their toes. Icona Pop was up next and their song “I Love It” seemed to be the theme song of the entire festival (and 2013 in general). Just to put it out there- these two girls know how to put on a show and get a crowd going. They could get even the manliest of men to sing along with their pop melodies.
After wandering around for a bit we grabbed some Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches and laid on the main field (one of the few patches of dry land) and listened to trap DJ Paper Diamond from a distance. But soon the ultimate decision had to be made. The two acts I really wanted to see that day were Kendrick Lamar and Animal Collective. I was hell-bent on getting a good spot to see Kendrick Lamar, but Azealia Banks (my guilty pleasure/spirit animal), was going on 45 minutes before him on the other side of the festival. After some debating, my love for Kendrick Lamar trumped and I had to skip out on Azealia and her weave of wonder. It was all worth it in the end because we ended up getting incredibly close to the stage and K-Dot did not disappoint. I’m still reliving when he dropped the opening beat of “M.A.A.D. City” twice.
I ended my day with Animal Collective, who have been one of my favorite bands since the beginning of high school. Watching Animal Collective live is such an experience whether you’re a fan or not. Everything from their eccentric stage set-up and light show will leave you entranced. Although their set was mysteriously cut short, it was still the perfect way to end the night.
Purchasing a ticket for Governor’s Ball was hands-down one of my best decisions of the year. Although I was only there one day, I’m already planning on putting away money to buy early-bird tickets for next year. I really want to see how Governor’s Ball in going to fill the big shoes they’ve created next year!