A day too short, Governors Ball still brought the heat - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Gov Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish for WXPN

Festivals and I have such a love/hate relationship. Not only as a music lover and someone who works in the industry, but as a general human being. There’s the hot humidity of the early days of summer mixed with the tangled bodies of hippies and hipsters gallivanting across an open field, overpriced food and alcohol, and crowds so large you can hardly see the band you’re there to see. At the same time, you’re completely enthralled with the good vibes, the exciting atmosphere, and the thrill of so much good music.

At this year’s Governors Ball, the first band I got to see on Friday was also the one I was most excited to see – Christine & The Queens, the French electronic pop band led by Heloïse Letissier. They released their first full-length album last year and I haven’t been able to stop listening. The performance was nothing short of fantastic; Heloise emerged in a full grey pleated pantsuit and eventually two, then three then five dancers had joined her on stage in matching attire.


Christine and the Queens | Photo by Rachel Barrish for WXPN

Over the course of Friday other stand-outs included Father John Misty, Beck, and Bloc Party. Headliner for day one, The Strokes, just released the new EP Future Present Past and delivered new tunes from that during the performance. Despite their half hour tardiness and endless haze of blue fog, Julian and the boys brought the fire to their fans.

The Strokes

The Strokes | Photo by Rachel Barrish for WXPN

Day two began as a beautiful and gorgeous sunny day, with zero chance of rain on the Apple weather app.

Had a chance to catch two Philadelphia natives first thing in the day – Nothing and Marian Hill, two very different types of music but super exciting to see them on bigger stages on a major festival lineup.

Marian Hill

Marian Hill | Photo by Rachel Barrish for WXPN

Around 6:45 after Miguel‘s 10 minute long medley, the clouds rolled in and the water started to pour down. After hiding out under the press & media tent awaiting for Purity Ring at 8:15, the worst should’ve been over. But alas, the rain poured down for another hour until right before headliners M83 and The Killers took to their respective stages.


Miguel | Photo by Rachel Barrish for WXPN

Unfortunately on Sunday morning with heavy thunderstorms on the radar, the festival made the ultimate decision to cancel day three, which was supposed to include performances from Kanye, Courtney Barnett, Death Cab for Cutie, Gary Clark Jr. and more. I still caught a huge amount of great music, even if the festival was a day short. Check out a full gallery of performances from Governors Ball below.

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