With the first day of the annual Governors Ball Music Festival treating audiences to the likes of Bleachers, Lorde, and Chance The Rapper - the second day had a lot to live up to, but it managed to succeed regardless.
Being a Saturday, there were generally more people around than on the Friday, and queues were slightly longer, but the general ambience and vibe that Gov Ball strives for was still evident. There were many a swift dash between stages, and none moreso than the final two acts of the night, Childish Gambino and Phoenix, who played at the exact same time on stages at opposite ends of the venue.
Check out our thoughts on some of our favourite acts from the second day below…
Playing one of the smaller stages, the audience that Banks drew in the early evening was beyond what the stage appeared to be able to fill, with people spilling over the edges of the main areas, just to be able to catch a glimpse of Jillian Banks.
Prior to taking to the stage, a spoken word monologue preceded the official beginning of the performance - before the bass began quivering in the intro of ‘Poltergeist’.
With two back-up dancers flanking her on either side, the flawless choreography of the trio was an impressive sight to be seen during ‘Gemini Feed’, with Banks going on to stalk back and forth across the stage throughout the set.
“If you know this song I want you to sing along with me,” she announced before launching into ‘Trainwreck’, one of the highlights from her 2016 album ‘The Altar’ - which had the entire audience chanting back the sassy lyrics, “It's quite depressing, there's no fixing to the problem / When you're talking to an idiot.”
Though some sound issues on the Bacardi Stage left some audience members unhappy, unable to properly hear vocals atop the overwhelming bass, Banks’ distinctive performance abilities left the crowd enthralled by the experience.
“This is my only show of 2017.” With just those seven words, Childish Gambino had the entirety of the Honda Stage in the palm of his hand, and it made the audience all the more appreciative of the show they were about to experience.
“This is the only place I wanted to be,” Gambino went on to say, a sentiment that was reciprocated by the crowd - the opening song ‘Me And My Mama’ showcased Gambino’s insanely strong falsetto voice from the outset, which alongside his rapping abilities, made for an exceptional headlining slot at the festival.
Though defined as a rapper, the show was not a typical rap show - with elements of soul, funk, and R&B all equally being important in the Childish Gambino show. The highlight for the show came from his performance of ‘Redbone’, which was introduced by Gambino referencing the ‘Redbone’ meme (which has been circulating on the Internet):
With less than a week until the release of their new album, Phoenix’s performance at Governors Ball felt a little like an early birthday party for the album - with a number of new songs getting to hear the light of day for the very first time.
Classics like ‘Girlfriend’ and ‘Lisztomania’ sat perfectly in line with newer songs ‘J-Boy’ and ‘Ti Amo’, with the legendary French band performing a flawless set filled with total exuberance, from frontman Thomas Mars’ bouncing around the stage, to guitarist Christian Mazzalai’s solos.
An enormous mirror screen acted as the band’s back-drop, showing a reflection of not only the band, but the enormous crowd that travelled all the way back to the bars and food vendors. During the long instrumental introduction of ‘Love Like A Sunset’, Thomas lay on the ground, simply absorbing what was going on around him - much like the audience who were gazing up at the stage throughout the show.