Kyle’s Governor’s Ball Preview

The Governor’s Ball music festival is taking place this weekend, and I am super excited for this. The festival boasts a consistent and impressive lineup that features some of the top artists from alternative music, hip-hop and EDM, with ticket holders having to choose between two artists for each time slot. Fortunately I’m familiar with a decent amount of the artists playing at this festival, and in this post I’ll let you know which artist I’m going to try to see during each time slot this weekend and why.

Friday

12:15-12:45: Swear and Shake vs. Pacific Air

Pacific Air is brothers playing indie pop. They’re a relaxing listen and well-traveled as they’ve opened for high profile acts before like Passion Pit and Two Door Cinema Club. Swear and Shake seems like it’d be a fun show as well but they’re more folky and seemingly conventional, so I’m planning on starting the festival with Pacific Air.

12:45-1:30 Solid Gold vs. Bear Mountain

We got Solid Gold’s 2012 release Eat Your Young at CDB last year and it wasn’t anything special, I’d say it’s alternative rock with a lot of electronic qualities mixed in to it, again more relaxing than danceable. I hadn’t heard of Bear Mountain before this year’s lineup, but their music seems like it would lead to a better live show then what I’ve heard from Solid Gold, Bear Mountain’s sound is more danceable and upbeat electronic so it should be a fun set to attend.

1:30-2:15 St. Lucia vs. Reignwolf

St. Lucia will put on a good electronic pop show, but my interest is in seeing what Reignwolf does during this time slot. He’s a multi-instrumentalist who seems like he’d put on a sick show, check out the video below where “Bicycle” sounds White Stripes-esque with him covering both Jack and Meg’s parts. This guy’s going to be a hit at governor’s ball for sure.

2:15-3:00 Polica vs. The Knocks

Electronic rock/R&B vs. Electronic Pop. I’m not overly excited about Polica, so The Knocks seem like a safer bet for enjoying the set but either way I don’t view this as a decision you can mess up, the options are pretty similar.

3:00-3:45 Dinosaur Jr. vs. Holy Ghost!

I’d be psyched to see Holy Ghost! over either of the past two artists, but in this slot there’s no way I can see them. I’m an alt-rock kid, and Dinosaur Jr. is one of the bands that defined that genre in the 90s, making the fact that they still release awesome albums like last year’s I Bet on Sky even more impressive. I have to go with the classic artist in this spot to get my fill of actual alternative rock.

3:45-4:45 Best Coast vs. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

I might regret this and be stuck watching a girl on stage sing to me about how great California is, basically the only premise of 2012 release The Only Place, but I’m going to gamble we get the distorted energetic Crazy For You tracks that would make the set amazing. If you were completely off-put by her last release, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs won’t be a bad consolation prize.

4:45-5:45 Of Monsters and Men vs. Dillon Francis

I saw Of Monsters and Men perform last year in Albany and they put on a good show, but I’m a bit bored of their sound now(and the mini-genre as a whole to be honest). I’m not overly into EDM but my friends who are recommended this artist, so I’m going to go with a new experience here rather than attending a show where I know I’ll be indifferent about the band.

5:45-6:45 Crystal Castles vs. Local Natives

This is another big contrast in sound between the artists, so I’d say it depends on your mood. Crystal Castles will definitely be more upbeat and danceable, and apparently she’s very good live, but I’m probably going to give Local Natives a shot here as I find their music easy to enjoy.

6:45-8:00 Feist vs. Young the Giant

This one is based entirely upon the Broken Social Scene rumor if nothing else. BSS is booked in the city to do a late-night gig on Thursday night, and a rumor is going around that Feist’s label mates might help end the BSS hiatus by doing a collaborative set or maybe even taking the stage for their own set after Feist. If it happens it would be probably the most notable story from the festival.

8:00-9:30 Beach House vs. Erykah Badu & the Cannabinoids

I feel like I’m making a mistake on this one so don’t let me sway you away from Erykah Badu, but I loved Beach House’s 2012 release Bloom and am hopeful that they put on the most relaxing show ever performed for their set. Can’t pick wrong between these artists though as they’ll both put on great shows.

9:30-11:00 Kings of Leon vs. Pretty Lights

Finally the headliners, neither of which I’m overly enthusiastic about unfortunately. I’m going to go with the same mentality I had for Dillon Francis in giving the artist who I know less about the shot here. I enjoy some Kings of Leon songs, but Pretty Lights seems like a more fun way to enjoy the end of the first day to me as I’ve heard good things about their live shows.

Saturday

12:15-12:45 Moon Hooch vs. Ruby Velle and the Soul Phonics

I have no idea who either of these artists are to be honest. A Youtube search shows that Moon Hooch is a saxophone lead band which sounds awesome to watch while Ruby Velle and the Soul Phonics have a more classic soul and gospel derived sound. Chances to hear some less-represented genres during this time slot, go to whichever excites you more.

12:45-1:30 The Rubens vs. Robert DeLong

Robert DeLong performed in Albany at the last Pearl Palooza and put on a decent show, he’s an electronic artist from Washington who’s still pretty new. That set will probably be good based upon his previous set I saw, but I’m going to head over and see the The Rubens because they’re a blues-rock band from Australia, and I’d like to see what they have to offer.

1:30-2:15 Wild Nothing vs. Griz

No doubter in my mind, Wild Nothing makes beautiful music and it should translate to a great live show.

3:00-3:45 Japandroids vs. Paper Diamond

Again a no-doubter, I’m incredibly excited to see this set. Japandroids are energetic and anthemic rock, so get yourself close to the stage and this will be one of the best shows you’ll end up at during the festival. Do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with Celebration Rock if you haven’t yet, it was my favorite album of last year and being aware of the lyrics that you’re shouting out during the show will only make the experience better.

3:45-4:45 Dirty Projectors vs. Fucked Up

difficult decision for me, Fucked Up is going to be a ton of fun to see live because they bring so much energy to their shows, though they lose here because their screaming is really hit and miss for me. the DIrty Projectors are a great example of a band that is successful today because they’re trying to further music through experimentation, and I’m really excited to see how their sounds translates to a live performance. Here’s to hoping they play a lot of Bitte Orca tracks.

4:45-5:45 Divine Fits vs. Alt-J

This is another slot where either choice would work well, Divine Fits is more rock while Alt-J is danceable pop, I’m just going to see Divine Fits because I want to see Britt Daniel perform live.

5:45-6:45 Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes vs. Azealia Banks

If I’m feeling really ambitious I might head over to the Azealia Banks show, but I’m guessing I’ll end up sitting through the Edward Sharpe set and hoping that I remember the lyrics to more of their songs than just “Home”.

6:45-8:00 Cut Copy vs. Kendrick Lamar

The first of three hip-hop acts I plan to catch at Governor’s Ball, Cut Copy has an electronic sound and will probably put on a great show but I’m interested in seeing Kendrick Lamar, especially since I’m unable to go and see him perform at the armory for his Good Kid M.A.A.D City tour show. It’s also partially influenced by the fact that I think Kendrick Lamar is really significant within modern hip-hop so I there’s a feeling of obligation present.

8:00-9:30 Animal Collective vs. Thievery Corporation

Easiest decision of the festival, even if Centipede Hz wasn’t the album that so many had hoped for this is still an amazing band that’s a must-see. They’re melodic and chaotic, this is the set that I’m most excited for because of the talent of the band and me never being able to see them before live. Heres to hoping that setlist is jam packed with tracks from Feels, Strawberry Jam and Merriweather Post Pavilion though their past history shows a tendency to play the previous album’s tracks heavily.

9:30-11:00 Guns N’ Roses vs. Nas

Another example of headliners who don’t excite me that much, I have little interest in seeing Guns N’ Roses so I’ll head over to see the Nas set since that one features an artist i’m more interested in giving a chance to at the moment.

Sunday

12:15-12:45 The Revivalists vs. On and On

Again I don’t know much about either of these bands. The Revivalists are a southern-rock group from New Orleans, a fantastic music scene and really the only chance to hear that sound at Governor’s Ball that I’ve seen so far, while On and On plays electronic-ambient music.

12:45-1:30 Roadkill Ghost Choir vs. Cherub

Roadkill Ghost Choir has a folk-rock sound to them, they sent us their debut EP this year named Quiet Light which proved to be a solid listen that received some airplay on CDB. Cherub will have a completely different sound as they play electronic pop.

1:30-2:15 Haim vs. The Vaccines

I’m excited for The Vaccines set because I’m a sucker for English Rock and these guys are a solid band. Haim is mostly a family band playing alternative pop/rock that’s a more relaxed sound in comparison.

2:15-3:00 Steel Pulse vs. Freddie Gibbs

reggae vs. hip-hop, I’m still undecided on this one because they’re both artists I know little about within genres that I rarely frequent. I’m leaning towards seeing Steel Pulse at the moment but the truth is that this decision is yet to be made and will depend upon how I feel at the time.

3:00-3:45 Portugal. The Man vs. Cold War Kids

Very excited to see Portugal. The Man here, they play psychedelic rock and pop and are consistently very good in their discography. Cold War Kids will be fun to see as well, but I’ve been waiting to see the truly Alaskan band for a while now, it’s just a shame only that they get such a short set time to play within.

3:45-4:45 Deerhunter vs. Twin Shadow

I’m going to see Deerhunter here because I’ve heard good things about their ive shows and because I’ve been struggling so far to see why their 2013 release Monomania has gotten the great reviews that it has, so I’m hoping this will be an eye opener. Twin Shadow is new wave/chill-pop artist while Deerhunter’s latest album gets labeled as American Rock.

4:45-5:45 Foals vs. Gary Clark Jr.

Gary Clark Jr. is a blues-rock guitarist who is extremely skilled and apparently puts on great shows at these festivals. I’m torn between whether I should see him or Foals at this slot, and in honesty I’ve really only chosen Foals because I had to leave their split show with Surfer Blood early when they played at Upstate Concert Hall recently and I heard they played great after we left. Both of these artists will be a treat to see live though for sure, don’t think you can go wrong with either.

5:45-6:45 Beirut vs. Yeasayer

I like Yeasayer, but the only song of their’s that I’m really into is “Reagan’s Skeleton”. Beirut on the other hand is one of my favorite bands in the indie-folk genre, and I would absolutely love to hear “Elephant Gun” played live as that track is located on the Lon Gisland EP of theirs and a true work of art.

6:45-8:00 Grizzly Bear vs. the Lumineers

The showdown of bands that other people love that I just don’t really get. I’m going ot head to see Grizzly Bear just because they’ve got a larger discography to work with and I feel like I should know more about them than I do.

8:00-9:30 The XX vs. Bloc Party

Bloc Party doesn’t really do it for me, I get that their music will be fun to listen to but I’ve got more interest and respect for The XX in this scenario. They have a relaxed pop sound in contrast to Bloc Party who will be a lot more energetic and danceable.

9:30-11:00 Kanye West vs. The Avett Brothers

How can you pass on seeing Kanye here? The guy has a terrific discography and is about to release his new album Yeezus, and with him being put into the role of closing out the festival you know it will be a spectacle. This is the set that everything else is supposed to lead up to, and Kanye could actually deliver on that promise.

Anyways, that’s where I’ll be going for all of the shows this weekend at Governor’s Ball. It’s going to be a terrific time and I’ll make sure to represent by wearing a CDB shirt on one of the days so keep your eyes peeled for me! Remember to drink a lot of water and prepare for probable rain, and see all the music that you can!

About kylewcdb

Blog Editor for Airwaves, former alternative rock director of CDB and current host of "Trust the Wizard" on WCDB Sunday nights from 10pm-midnight.
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