We sent writers/photographers/brothers Christopher Sarkis Graham and Bryan Armen Graham to Randall’s Island in New York to check out this weekend’s three-day Governors Ball 2014. Here’s their photographic recap of the day, which kicked off with Philly’s own Kurt Vile:
Who better to help kick off a weekend of world class, genre-spanning pop music than Philly’s own Kurt Vile?
Early on Friday, Vile and his Violators helped usher in this year’s Governors Ball, a music festival that's settled into a three-day format since launching as a one-day event with an emphasis on dance acts in 2011.
Vile's vinyl psychedelia-flavored lo-fi was the perfect volley to Janelle Monáe’s cosmic funk that would soon follow.
OutKast might have had a bumpy start to their festival comeback run after a (in)famously lackluster Coachella reception, but Friday night's confident set — backed by a live band — showed they've worked out the kinks.
Guest stars kept the energy level cranked to 11, with Sleepy Brown weaving in and out of songs through the night, and Killer Mike emerging just in time for his verse in the finale, “The Whole World.”
Day 2 brought more pristine weather and hometown talent in West Philly expat RJD2.
The collage artist’s celebrated electro-analogue style laid just the tone for the day, leaving the crowd in a sea of fist-pumps with the “Ghostwriter” set closer.
Later, The Strokes took the main stage for their first festival appearance since 2011 — but if there was any dust to shake off, no one could spot it settle.
Soon after came a far-and-away fest highlight in Jack White, who may have swapped his trichromatic theme from a red to blue base, emerging on Saturday night’s cerulean-drenched stage — but White was sure to remind us he’s not turned on the work that’s secured him as rock’s saving grace for near 15 years.
Seems the only Jack project left untapped was the Dead Weather (something of a missed opportunity, considering the super-group cofounder Alison Mosshart was on deck for a Kills set on Sunday.)
Tyler, The Creator joined Earl Sweatshirt, Jasper Dolphin and Taco for a raucous, profanity-laden afternoon set that drew a massive crowd on Day 3, demonstrating why Odd Future is the biggest punk attraction in the business. Seattle folk-rockers The Head and The Heart alleviated the adrenaline rush with a set drawn heavily from Let's Be Still, their sophomore effort for Sub Pop Records. British singer and electronic producer James Blake reached into his back catalog with a sexy set drawing on his inimitable blend of R&B, soul and electronic influences. Homestanding veterans Interpol delivered a tight, focused set before a massive crowd that conflicted with eccentric Australian electro-pop duo Empire of the Sun, whose "Walking On a Dream" set an overflow tent crowd into hysterics.
Vampire Weekend drew the bigger crowd of Sunday night's two headliners, but Axwell & Ingrosso — veterans of EDM kings Swedish House Mafia — closed the festival with a bang (literally) with a fist-pumping set punctuated by fireworks above the stage.
The trail of defunct, failed New York City music festivals is long (remember All Points West, Vineland, Field Day, Across the Narrows or Bonnaroo N.E.?) but another successful weekend on Randall’s Island proves that Governors Ball just may have cracked the code. Keep scrolling for more photos from the three-day festival.
Kurt Vile and the Violaters
Julian Casablancas + The Voidz
Bruce Springsteen’s iconic rock album Born in the U.S.A. turns the big 3-0 today. I bet that makes you feel pretty old, huh?
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Sinead, is that really you? Yesterday, Irish songbird Sinead O’Connor had the Internet buzzing when she released her new album cover showing the singer trading in her Irish hipster look for slick rock-and-roll dominatrix getup — and she’s never looked better. Gone is Sinead’s trademark buzzcut; in its place is a black skin tight leather dress topped with a sexy cropped wig. The “Nothing Compares 2U” chanteuse’s 10th studio album, I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss is due for release on August 12th.
Besides branding a fierce new look, O’Connor is also very passionate about the album’s title. On her official website she posted: “Originally, I had a different title, The Vishnu Room, but a few months back when I saw the phrase “I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss” and became aware of the Ban Bossy campaign, I wished I could re-name the album, since indeed it can be tricky being a female boss, and I think Sheryl’s campaign is a terribly important one. ”
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New Zealand songbird and uncanny Kurt Vile look-alike Lorde just announced her North American tour, which kicks off on August 1st at Chicago’s Lollapalooza. A little over a month later, she’ll be coming to Philly to perform at the Mann Center, on September 5th.
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Dear Roots Picnic audience: When Snoop Dogg says “La Di Da Di,” you are supposed to say, “We like to party.” So lame. Anyway, Doug E Fresh’s beatboxing at Roots Picnic 2014 was as awesome as ever.
Right at this very moment, throngs of Coors Light guzzlers are preparing to tailgate for the big Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band show at Hersheypark Stadium. Hopefully, some alien civilization has a big interstellar laser pointed at Hershey right now, because it’s time that we rid the world of Bruce Springsteen and all of his terrible fans once and for all. Bruce Springsteen sucks. And here’s why. Read more »
Tori Amos released her 17th album this week, and a lot of people are saying that Unrepentant Geraldines might be her best work in two decades. But Unrepentant Geraldines? That’s the best they can do for a title? Read more »
Boyz II Men will be at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia on Saturday, June 7th, and suffice to say ticket sales are sluggish. Read more »
On Monday morning in the rotunda at Liberty Place, Questlove joined Mayor Michael Nutter to announce Philadelphia’s 4th of July entertainment lineup: Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran and Aloe Blacc will be the special guests of The Roots on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Read more »
Miss Patti LaBelle — who we imagine is still reeling from this week’s Cher and Cyndi show — is set to play a rotating role in the Tony Award-nominated Broadway show After Midnight.
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