This is all I could get of the stage. Where is Kanye West?
And thus, Governors Ball came to a close with not a whimper or a bang but a somewhat polite cough.
Kanye West was the closing act and it was impossible to get anywhere near the main stage. Many people had left, certain that the rapper was going to be a no show. He was late but he did show up, performing some new songs and doing some of his hits. It was fun mostly because I was dancing with friends and hearing “Good Life” and “All Falls Down” live is a beautiful experience. But it was impossible to see Kanye and the big screens had weird effects to them so they were basically useless. Was it worth it waiting for Mr. West? Definitely; even if he ranted and was a bit self-indulgent with his songs such as dragging out the end of “All of the Lights”. Will I be prompted to see him at a headlining tour? Hmm….probably not if the venue is going to be packed like it was at the festival. I like my intimate venues, thanks. But it was worth the experience of seeing one of the most popular rappers on the planet live, even if I only caught a fleeting glimpse of the top of his head.
“New Slaves” live, courtesy of Normal Mag:
All of the lights.
My friends and I had managed to stumble to the front as soon as Beirut got off the stage. Though I was excited to see The xx, I was not prepared AT ALL for their performance. I’d listened to both their albums prior to the festival and didn’t think their show would be too dramatic considering that their music is pretty mellow. However, it was clear I was the only one who thought that because the people around me were hardcore, devoted fans, singing along to every song and yelling undying love to Romy, Oliver, and Jamie. The girl next to me was especially enthusiastic and thought it was okay to sing loudly and off-key right in my ear.
(Note: I do appreciate when you’re so devoted to a band that you know every word, I really do. It’s just, well, when you can’t sing, please do not sing louder than the actually performers because you ruin it for everyone around you. Enthusiasm is perfectly fine but at some point, realize that you’re inflicting grievous, auditory harm to those around you and just mouth along. Thanks.)
One of the high points of the performance was the light show; the fog that mixed with the lasers looked like oil on water and it created lovely patterns in the air. Romy and Oliver sung beautifully and it was impossible not to fall in love with them. As soon as I got home that night (really, early morning), I listened to the entirety of xx and Coexist and flailed around for a bit because I’d seen them live and it was a near religious experience. Oh, how I love music.
Here’s an excerpt of their set and again, this video does not do it justice at all:
Foals. Foals. FOALS.
I wish I was more eloquent to properly convey how brilliant their set was but the words escape me. I was downright floored by their entire performance. And it wasn’t just because frontman, Yannis Philippakis, was crowd surfing and casually strolling between the rails – every band member played superbly and was equally as engaging with the audience – but hearing their music live was pure energy.
Here’s an excerpt from their set but you truly had to be there to appreciate the greatness of the performance. (This video really doesn’t do their set justice. I tried to find a video of Philippakis crowd surfing but I couldn’t. Also, I would’ve uploaded my own videos but they’re all pretty shitty quality.)