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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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Just Announced: Bloc Party brings HYMNS to The Fillmore this summer

Bloc Party | Photo by Rachael Wright | courtesy of the artist
Bloc Party | Photo by Rachael Wright | courtesy of the artist

Brit rock faves Bloc Party returned this year with their fifth LP, Hymns, and a tour that brings them to Philadelphia on June 1st for a headlining gig at The Fillmore. NYC dance-pop faves MS MR is opening, tickets for the show are on sale this Friday at 10 a.m., more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →