Holy moly! We can’t believe the super sold out Governor’s Ball is this weekend. We’re looking forward to three days jam-packed with big-name headliners and international up-and-comers, not to mention rocking flower crowns, blowing bubbles, hitting up local foodcarts, and mingling with lots of other audiophiles. Though there are almost 60 bands on the Governor’s Ball lineup, we’ve narrowed it down to our top ten must-see performances, including Wild Belle, Disclosure, Jenny Lewis, Diarrhea Planet, Ratking, Chance The Rapper, Grimes, and more!
SUN 2:15-3 @Big Apple Stage
Wild Belle is eclectic and soulful Chicago-based brother/sister duo of Elliot Bergman & Natalie (Belle) Bergman. They are new to the airwaves, having just released their debut LP Isles in 2013, but already have a strong following of over 68,000 followers on Facebook. Time Magazine also named them as a Band to Watch, praising their sound as an “artful blend island and West African sounds — with a dash of James Brown.”
FRI 4:45-5:45 @ Honda Stage
Jenny Lewis, the incredible, fiery frontwoman of dormant indie stronghold Rilo Kiley has been keeping it quiet for the past few years. After the release of her fantastic solo record Acid Tongue in 2008, she collaborated with boyfriend Jonathan Rice as Jenny and Jonny, putting out the jangly, country-alt-tinged I’m Having Fun Now in 2010. It’s been a waiting game anticipating her next move, and we aren’t very patient, so we’re extremely stoked to see her on the Governor’s Ball lineup this year, promoting her new album The Voyager, out July 29.
SAT 12:45-1:30 @ Big Apple Stage
Oh, this rock’n’roll band, hailing from Nashville, TN with skid marks in tow. Before you go rolling your eyes over their smelly pen name, do yourself a favor and see them live. It’s a hilarious and exhilarating experience, featuring three guitarists (!). The 6-piece has been making major indie headlines recently for their live performance, which include crowdsurfing contests, raging guitar solos, and a whole lot of healthy testosterone.
SAT 4:45-5:45 @ Big Apple Stage
It’s no surprise that the UK genius dance duo Disclosure makes our top 10. Though this is just the start of the band’s mainstream success in the US, their 2012 album, Settle, scored multiple top 10 hits in the UK, making them “most successful British dance act in a generation.” New York loves smart, sexy electronic music, and Disclosure heading to Governor’s Ball is a match made in festival heaven. If only it weren’t at 4:45pm…
FRI 8:15-9:15 @ Gotham Tent
Grimes packs one of the festival’s biggest punches. Claire Boucher, the Canadian indie oddball goddess, is known for intense live shows, breathing life into her genre-bending electronic jams. She hasn’t toured in NY since 2012’s Visions tour, and since then her weird star has grown ever brighter. We can’t wait to dance beneath her on Friday night.
FRI 12:45-1:30 @ Gotham Tent
NY’s own Little Daylight are a pack of talented dance-rock hipsters, and through June they’ll start making headlines, first opening for Charlie XCX, then rocking the stage at Governor’s Ball, slotting them for indie-electronic stardom. Dreamy vocals drift through pattering tribal beats while synths coo on their latest single, the Stereogum-premiered “Name In Lights.” They promise to encite a dance party with their live set, ruffling the feathers of softer songs on their glossy debut album, TunnelVision, with dance beats and an unforgettable stage presence.
FRI 2:15-3:00 @ Gotham Tent
This trio of underage NY misfits represent the city of New York’s hip hop scene like no one else. Taking the NY-bred charm of a band like Das Racist and backing it with an inventive hip hop sound (contemporaries JOEY BADAS$$, A$AP FERG), while infusing that sound with a plethora of genres, they are a prodigy and mystery all in one. According to the Guardian, their music features elements of East Coast hip hop, early Detroit techno, Cali punk rock, London stoner folk and Olympic basketball commentary. And, according to NPR, their debut album, So It Goes, is “the most ‘New York’ hip-hop project released in years.” Love ’em or hate ’em, they are redefining what it means to be a NY hip hop artist, and we can’t wait to see them represent live.
SAT 3:45-4:45 @ Gotham Tent
21-year-old Chancelor Bennett is an authentic independent Chicago hip hop success story. Putting out his genre-blending, almost experimental rap mixtapes for free, especially 2013’s excellent Acid Rap, he’s built up a huge fan community. That single with Justin Beiber didn’t hurt either, and although it has damaged his indie credibility, we’re willing to look past his moment of brief sell-out. He’s a just plain fun performer – at Sasquatch! Festival in Washington last weekend, he did a very special cover: performing the theme song from children’s cartoon “Arthur”…. ha!
SUN 2:15-3 @ Gotham Tent
Jillian Banks, known simply as BANKS, is a fresh talent out of LA, fusing sultry R&B vocals with dance beats and a good dose of dark synth. Though her debut album hasn’t even dropped yet, she’s gathered a serious underground following, resulting in prime spots in a slew of summers this festival season (plus a massive tour last year with The Weeknd).The dark, slightly robotic quality to her harmonies plays through in her sleek look and flashy live show, resulting in a pulsing, energetic performance that’ll give you goosebumps.
FRI 9:15-11 @ GovBallNYC Stage
We know, we know, Outkast really sold out this summer. They signed on to headline over 40 major festivals this summer, and already delivered what seemed like a dud of a performance at Coachella. But, we’re still the most excited to see the hip hop duo more than anyone else at the event. Maybe their best music-making days lay behind them, scattered across the incredible Aquemini and Stankonia albums (released in 1998 and 2000, accordingly), but hey, that’s the stuff they’re mostly playing anyway. Consider it a Southern-laced, gangsta-reliant dance party of a trip back down the musical lane when rap and funk intersected in so many good ways!