The Governors Ball Music Festival began to a fairly moist start with some rain that wasn’t forecasted but a little mud didn’t stop fans from rushing to the Gov Ball NYC stage once gates opened.
With indie band Priory ushering in the festivities with some light drizzle, the group powered through their set, armed with three guitars, a turntable and several gauges the band’s brand of synthpop combined with rock-helped bridge the gap between fans waiting for Florence and the Machine and/or Drake.
Following a quick set change rap duo Rae Sremmurd took the stage, playing only about fifteen minutes into their set before the slippery stage conditions caused Slim Jimmy to fall off the stage and into a light with a large gash in his leg. Medics quickly rushed to the scene, but his brother and other half of Rae Sremmurd, Swae Lee continued the show with most of Slim Jimmy’s parts played by the DJ.
After the chaotic performance, Drake collaborator and opener on his “Would You Like a Tour?” was ATL rapper Future who tore through a set of his hits like “Fuck Up Some Commas”, “Same Damn Time” and “Move That Dope”. Both Future and Rae Sremmurd were scheduled as replacements for Twin Shadow and Labrinth respectively.
Taking the main stage following the rapper was the electro-funk duo of Dave 1 and P-Thugg known as Chromeo. Decked out in chrome from their keyboards to their guitars, the band played a formidable set of their danceable hits. With their roots in Quebec, the band made the move to New York City and for their set brought out fellow New Yorker Ezra Koenig, lead signer and guitarist of Vampire Weekend to play both a cover of the band’s track “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” before going into the singer’s collaboration with the duo, the aptly named “Ezra’s Interlude” off their most recent record “White Women.” Koenig played on the main stage for a headlining set at last year’s Governors Ball with his group, Vampire Weekend.
Fresh off her recovery from a foot injury at Coachella, singer Florence and the Machine was back up and running around the Gov Ball NYC stage backed by her expanded touring band. Feeling glad to be back on her feet, the singer was built a new set of stairs for the performance as to navigate between the crowd and the stage with no more injury. As well as, bringing up a girl who crowd surfed her way on stage with a sign that said “Hugs?” and then proceeding to hug Florence before the members of the Machine. With their latest record “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” just released in the U.S. on Tuesday the band played the singles from the record like the Fleetwood Mac-esque “Ship to Wreck”, “What Kind of Man”, and the heart-wrenching “St. Jude”.
As the sun set on Gov Ball Day 1, it was time for the main event of the night. Rap icon Drake took the stage clad in a neon hoodie playing the track “Legend” off his latest mixtape “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.” With a career spanning set, the rapper played the hits from his LPs “Nothing Was The Same”, “Take Care”, and “Thank Me Later” aside from the mixtape. As the last stop on his Jungle tour, Drake was supported by Future on the turntables as well as, a keyboardist and drummer. The amazing visuals for the stage setup began with an illuminated background, where he mostly played tracks off of “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” before revealing a jungle themed environment behind him, as well as, a spectacular amount of pyrotechnics. Noted for his star power and immense list of collaborators, Drake did not bring anyone else on stage (unlike his Coachella performance featuring Madonna) but instead his VIP section hosted a who’s who of guest celebrities like “Tuesday” collaborator Makonnen, Vanessa Bayer and Bobby Moynihan of Saturday Night Live, model Winnie Harlow, as well as, background figure in the rap community, lawyer Steven Reisman who gave out his signature $2 bills to audience members. The night officially came to a close when Drake played his encore before going into a freestyle and announcing that his new record “Views From The Six” is coming soon.