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A day too short, Governors Ball still brought the heat

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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.

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Rounding up the best and brightest of Governors Ball 2015

Governors' Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish
Governors Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish

The annual Governors Ball festival is held at Randall’s Island in New York, wedged in between Upper Manhattan and Queens. The rain trickled down on Friday but that didn’t stop the ticket holders from trekking through to make it over for their favorite acts, most especially Philly’s The Districts who started off the fest Friday afternoon at 12:15. A bit too early for most, one would think, but they ripped through their set with a medium sized but lively crowd cheering along to the words of “Young Blood.” Continue reading →

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Unpacking Gov Ball: A massive-yet-intimate summertime music hang

| Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
| Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Friday started off like a whirlwind. An epic journey from Philadelphia–>North Jersey–>Brooklyn–>Randall’s Island.

The final destination was where this year’s Governor’s Ball took place, about a 20 minute trek over the Triborough Bridge. This intimate, yet vastly sizable island was the perfect place for a music festival. The grounds made for a good fit for four large stages and a sensational line up of music. The line up was diverse and well suited with everything from electronic rock to progressive hip hop to rap artists to indie rock favorites like Spoon and The Strokes. Nostalgia was definitely a major part of the weekend, seeing bands like OutKast who have been around for twenty years and haven’t put out an album in about eight. Other blasts from the past included Neko Case and TV on the Radio, a bit timid in the beginning of their performances but overall glad and excited to be performing.

The festival grounds held about 100,000 people from all walks of the East Coast and some from across the border (Canada). There were girls draped in hippy flower crowns and sometimes nothing else but tape over their chest. Noticeably there were a lot of flower printed Hawaiian shirts and apparel, including Earl Sweatshirt and Julian Casablancas during his performance with The Strokes. The summer vibes were certainly in swing, no one could have asked for a more perfect sun-filled weekend. New festival favorite gimmick was flotation devices, people brought in their own pool floaties and were able to chill out on the grass without getting dirty. Check out a full recap of photos from Gov Ball in the gallery below; for our daily recaps, click here.
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Governor’s Ball Day 3: Banks, Earl Sweatshirt, James Blake, The Head and The Heart and more

Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Yesterday wrapped up our third day exploring Randall’s Island and the sights and sounds of this year’s Governors Ball Music Festival.

Skaters | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Skaters | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

New York City rock band Skaters turned up the heat on an already scorching Sunday afternoon.

Earl Sweatshirt | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Earl Sweatshirt | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Rapper Earl Sweatshirt emerged on stage decked out in beachwear while fans sang along to the lyrics from his latest album, Doris. Continue reading →

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Governor’s Ball Day Two: The Strokes, Jack White, RJD2, Spoon, and more

Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Yesterday we took our places in the crowd at New York’s Randall’s Island for day two of Governor’s Ball, catching everything from garage punk to hip-hop, electronic music and bluesy rock and roll.

Diarrhea Planet | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Diarrhea Planet | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Nashville, Tennessee noise rockers, Diarrhea Planet brought their energy, and flexibility to the stage on Saturday afternoon.

RJD2 | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
RJD2 | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Ramble John Krohn, aka Philly’s RJD2, tuned up the turn tables at Gov Ball. Today he’s spinning pop-up sets on the ferry to Randall’s Island.

Lucius | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Lucius | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

The ladies of Lucius emerged on stage in their sequin dresses and alien-like sunglasses to a packed crowd bringing their indie pop energy. They are another band we can’t wait to see at XPoNential Fest next month. Continue reading →

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Governor’s Ball Day One: Kurt Vile, Jenny Lewis, TV On the Radio, OutKast and more

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The 4th annual Governors Ball is taking place on Randall’s Island in NYC and we are there to capture all three days of live music.

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‘ Kurt Vile & the Violators | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Hometown boys, Kurt Vile & The Violators hung out on the Big Apple stage during the first day of Gov Ball

Janelle Monae | Photo by Rachel Barrish |  rachelbarrish.com
Janelle Monae | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

The fabulous and frantic Janelle Monae came on the stage in a straight jacket (similar to her performance at the Roots Picnic two weeks ago) and broke free giving the audience a superb afternoon.

Washed Out | Photo by Rachel Barrish |  rachelbarrish.com
Washed Out | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Indie rock group Washed Out performed an excellent set in the Gotham Tent during day one of Gov Ball

Concert goer and Drexel student | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Concert goer and Drexel student | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Jenny Lewis | Photo by Rachel Barrish |  rachelbarrish.com
Jenny Lewis | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Getting stoked for XPoNential Fest? Same here. Jenny Lewis put on a kick-butt performance playing tunes from her new album and some Rilo Kiley numbers. Can’t wait to see her again next month. Continue reading →

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Before he says goodbye to Childish Gambino, Donald Glover will bring Awaken My Love to the Wells Fargo Center

Donald Glover | photo via facebook.com/donaldglover

2018 is going to be a major year for Donald Glover. With the recent premiere of Atlanta, Glover signed a new record deal with RCA Records and announced a North American Tour for his music-alter ego Childish Gambino with the hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, best known for their hit “Black Beatles.” The fall itinerary is set to kick off in Glover’s hometown Atlanta, September 6th, and hitting other 12 cities including Philadelphia, September 18th at the Wells Fargo Center.

Last year during his performance at the Governors Ball in NYC, the multi talented Glover announced that his 2016 LP Awaken, My Love!  would mark the retirement of his moniker. At the 2018 Grammys in January, he confirmed with reporters that he will stand by his decision to bring the curtains down on Childish Gambino after 10 years. The ever-growing artist has made a name for himself in every area of the entertainment industry as a rapper, writer, actor, comedian, and director. The Grammy-winning R&B artist started off writing for the American sitcom “30 Rock” then released a comedy special on Netflix called “Donald Glover: Weirdo”. Afterwards, the R&B artist started acting, starring in TV series and films such as Community in 2009 and Magic Mike XXL in 2015. Now, he is directing his own television series, the acclaimed Atlanta, which is on FXX.   Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Kelela will headline the TLA next month

Kelela
Kelela | photo by Daniel Sannwald | courtesy of the artist

R&B / electropop singer and songwriter Kelela impressed us twice last year: first with an early afternoon appearance at the Made In America Festival, and later with the release of Take Me Apart, one of our Top 15 Albums of 2017.

Of the record, our Rob Huff wrote:

A masterclass in tension and release, it cuts to the feeling of finally knowing what you want, in love and in life, and not being willing to wait for it anymore. And it expresses that with a determination and vulnerability that feels anthemic.

This week, Kelela announced a run of Winter tour dates with The xx in New Zealand, and a handful of stateside engagements upon her return — and one of those includes a February 27 gig at the TLA on South Street. Continue reading →