The final day of the Governors Ball weekend posed a major clash for alt-rock fans to decide. On the Gov Ball NYC stage was Ohio blues-rock group The Black Keys and making her homecoming return on the Honda stage, singer Lana Del Rey. While the main stage offered bigger name opening acts, Echosmith, Tame Impala, and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Del Rey’s fan base came out in a horde, camped out onto the barricade the whole day. With a more eclectic variety of acts ranging from EDM to hard rock, the smaller Honda stage catered to a wider audience that allowed for more discovery of up-and-coming acts.
Starting the music at noon that day was German rock duo The Picturebooks. Loaded with a heavy, minimal Delta blues sound, the guitar/drum dynamic created a vibe reminiscent of The White Stripes but with a heavier, more Southern tone. With drummer Philipp Mirtschink’s kit replacing cymbals with church bells, the bombastic tone helped usher in the final day.
Concluding their set, singer-songwriter Timothy Showalter’s quartet Strand of Oaks took the stage, with a grungy alternative sound that bordered somewhere between U2 and Dinosaur Jr compositions. Though Showalter was decked out in all black and flailed his flowing locks about the stage, his band seemed to care less about coordinating outfits, but inevitably looked the part for backing members of an indie band.
In a major sea change of acts for the day, Def Jam rapper Logic performed his set, supported by DJ Rhetorik, wearing a Jam Master Jay-esque outfit with a black fedora and glasses. While the young rapper is still gradually making waves in the hip-hop scene, his stage presence is ultimately supported by his intense, rapid flow and ability to freestyle, while backing it up by taking time in between tracks to explain his rationale. Not just “rapping fast just to rap fast” he puts his skills to work where it fits purposefully.
Soon after leaving the stage, Fool’s Gold founder A-Trak hopped into his DJ booth for a lengthy set. With a formidable resume of collaborators including Kanye West, Duck Sauce, and even being the younger brother of Chromeo vocalist/guitarist Dave 1, A-Trak rocked the turntables while taking some time from the booth, with t-shirt guns ablaze aimed for the massive crowd. While a computer crash halfway towards his set put him back a bit, A-Trak took some time to get to know the members of his audience a little better before everything got back in order.
Keeping the dance vibes going, livetronica act Big Gigantic combined reggae horns with EDM beats and pop hooks. While not having much merit to their name, by incorporating Top 40 Hits and (like the two acts before them) House of Pain’s “Jump Around” kept an energy-depleted crowd of teens hyped for the main act of the day.
With a stage set-up of cardboard skyscrapers and a projected skyline, Lana Del Rey came on stage in a one-piece blue New York Yankees dress making the statement that her homecoming stop on the Endless Summer tour was a warm welcome. In spite of audio difficulties (even at one point in the show she asked for her vocal mic to be turned down), the audience didn’t seem to notice, belting out the lyrics while Lana’s normal subdued vocals were almost at a whisper. Playing from her two major albums the debut “Born to Die” and most recent “Ultraviolence” she also incorporated her “Paradise EP”, the unreleased single “Serial Killer”, and a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel No. 2” into her setlist. At points during the show, the singer descended the stage from metal steps into the photo pit, where she sang the title track from “Ultraviolence” before taking gifts from and selfies with her many young, fresh-faced teen fans.
Strand of Oaks
Lana Del Rey