As made evident by the content of this and the previous edition of “The Most Blogged About Shows This Week,” New York City is increasingly overrun by festivals. There’s a few going on this week, most notably Hillstock (Bushwick), Rockstock (Rockaway Beach) and, with some of the biggest names to hit NYC this summer, Governor’s Ball.
Festivals can be a crap shoot… so many things can go right (Northside) and so many things can go wrong (Googa Mooga.) Governor’s Ball’s lineup is awesome on paper and is well put together (more on that later), but the Randall’s Island location presented some issues last year (longggggggggg ass lines for the ferry.)
It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out this year. There’s a shuttle bus running from Williamsburg this time around (right in front of Brooklyn Bowl, every hour from 11 am to 6 PM), but the price was steep ($50 round trip) and they’re sold out. Last year, patrons reported waits of upwards of 2 hours for the ferry, so I’m a bit wary this year. I’ll likely walk across the RFK Bridge from Queens, which takes about 30 minutes. The temperature is supposed to drop about 10-15 degrees from the oppressive and record-breaking temperatures we’ve seen the last couple of days, so it should be rather pleasant.
There’s a great emphasis on food this year, with a bunch of top-notch food trucks trekking out to the island: Luke’s Lobster, Wafels & Dinges, Asia Dog, Hill Country Barbecue and more. Food is here to stay, festival-goers, and foodies, I salute you! Thank you taking festival-food out of the overpriced, inedible dirty-water dark ages and into the 21st century of artisanal deliciousness.
ANYWAY, the lineup itself is admirably stacked, including Beck, Modest Mouse, Fiona Apple, Atmosphere and Major Lazer. However, it’s glaringly obvious that this festival’s lineup comes up a bit short in the “new artist” territory, which is what much of the festival-going experience is about. Fortunately, Governor’s Ball does a very nice job curating two high-quality lineups that target two somewhat overlapping demographics:
SATURDAY – Young “mainstream indie” kids who listen to a lot of electronic music and will use money from their high school and college graduation parties to buy badges.
SUNDAY – Older “mainstream indie” adults who have moved onto working “real jobs” and will drop some change to see some familiar bands that don’t tour so much anymore.
NOT that I’m detracting from the lineup; as I said, it’s very admirably stacked. And maybe I’m getting older, because Sunday is CLEARLY the day to go. Beck co-headlines with indie-legends Modest Mouse and the ULTRA-BUZZED (and still relevant after all these years) Fiona Apple. The undercard consists of a bunch of awesome acts you’d typically have to drop at least $30 to see nowadays, including Explosions In The Sky, Devendra Banhart and Built To Spill, and some younger bands who fit in nicely with this early-aught-heavy lineup, Cults, Freelance Whales and Phantogram. When you think about it THAT way… not too bad for a $95 one day pass. Bravo, Governor’s Ball.
Old man Pete may not be “feelin” Saturday’s lineup as much, but the electro and hip-hop heavy lineup will please many, and features heavyweights like Passion Pit, Kid Cudi, Duck Sauce, Chromeo and Santigold. My picks for Saturday: Major Lazer, Atmosphere, and the rising Penguin Prison, who also play the Governor’s Ball after party at Brooklyn Bowl.
- Peter Ritwegger of My Social List
My Social List is happy to partner with Freewilliamsburg to bring you the best of music in the New York area. My Social List tracks nine of the most popular music blogs and aggregates mentions of bands to create weekly Top 10 Lists of the city’s most exciting and highly-anticipated shows.