Who we’re seeing at Governor’s Ball (and who you should see too): a conversation

Two of FREEwilliamsburg’s newest music bloggers hung out last night (and over email today, seeing as drinks began to flow) and talked about who they’re seeing at Governor’s Ball this year. Check it out, check out the acts we’re excited for, get excited too, and we’ll see you on Randall’s Island! Feel free to join in the conversation in comments.


Carly: Well the last time I saw Run the Jewels they left everyone dead and bleeding on the floor of Music Hall of Williamsburg (and the show was free). That is to say, they were awesome. They’re aggressive, but fun, and I think that’ll be a great way to start the weekend. Plus with Killer Mike on the same day as Outkast? It’s like a nice pregame for “The Whole World.”

After that it’ll be Kurt Vile for me. Quite the transition I know, but who doesn’t want to see that man’s flowing locks blowing in the breeze on a pretty day (daze?).

Megan: I’ve gotta check out Janelle Monae. Talk about a girl who hit the ground running. It’s been a nonstop couple of years for Monae who’s proven to be pretty prolific. She’s dropped three full length albums since 2007. I saw her open for Of Montreal at Terminal 5 back in 2010, and she stole the show. She always brings it with outrageous dance moves, crazy costumes, solid vocals and an enviable sense of style.  Can you believe this chick is only 5 ft tall?

Carly: I’ll be there with you. She’s really a ball of energy live. Then I’ll return to laid-back vibes as Washed Out rides in on his chill-wave. Though I never got into Within and Without or Paracosm all that much, his EPs are classic to their (now-sorta-dead) genre. It’ll be nice to hear some Life of Leisure after all this time…well, you know besides when we watch Portlandia.

Megan: Okay I feel you, and I may have heard “Pompeii” 48 times at Mysteryland (everyone who’s anyone threw down a remix), but I’m still going to hit up Bastille. Their sound is unique even if top 40’s almost killed it. I gave Bad Blood a listen, and it’s pretty baller. Shout out to all of those tribal sounds, like you London cats know anything about that…

Next up for me is Julian Casablancas + The Voidz. I can’t miss out on a double dose of The Strokes. I’ve gotta make up for lost time.

Carly: This is such a tough call for me. I am one of a small group who liked Phrazes for the Young (“11th Dimension” and “Out of the Blue” are serious jams, come at me), but I’m not hearing the best things about his recent live shows with The Voidz. That might be enough to put me at the Honda stage with Jenny Lewis, who I’m also a fan of. While I may not have had a serious Rilo Kiley phase, I know them well enough to know that she’ll be a treat. And having just announced a new album, produced by Ryan Adams and Beck, I’m very much looking forward to what she’s got in store, which I’m sure will include some RK hits.

Megan: I love me some TV on the Radio. They’re a staple of the New York summer music scene, and you see singer Kyp Malone’s name on just about everything that’s trendy and BK. I gotta show some love, plus you know that Nine Types of Light is one of the best albums you’ve listened to in the last decade. Also, I saw Grimes at Austin City Limits last year, and she did the opposite of bring it. (the opposite is forgot to bring it, and her sound didn’t work at all and it was sad. Sorry girlie.)

Carly: I’ll admit my Grimes fangirl-dom. I think she’s innovative and unique and talented. The 2 out of 3 times I’ve seen her, she definitely brought it (that other time the sound was awful and I don’t know if I’m to blame that on her or Bowery Ballroom). I have confidence in her, especially learning recently that she’s redone a lot of her songs to work better live. Not to mention she’ll be premiering a bunch of new songs, including a song she wrote with sometimes-collaborator Blood Diamonds for Rihanna that was rejected. Speaking of Blood Diamonds, really hoping we get some “Phone Sex.”

For both of us, Friday’s no brainer headliner is Outkast. Since that lauded Coachella performance, they’ve tweaked the setlist,  in the best possible way. Just… feast your eyes upon this. Bummer we’ll be missing you Damon.


Megan: Saturday is my day to dance. That’s why early on I plan on hitting Diarrhea Planet. Sure it’s an unfortunate name, but they know how to start the party with their crazy pop punk and “don’t give a fuck” attitudes.

Carly: Hell yeah, I’m there too. Just so long as my alarm wakes me up on time. Or do I just sleepwalk my way up there and have their infectious rock wake me up?

Megan: Philly staple RJD2 returns to Governor’s Ball this year to bring his unique style of world/house/EDM/whatever the hell you call it. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what this producer does best, because he’s good at a lot of things. Did you know that he wrote the score for Mad Men? Yep, that’s him. Also, RJD2 is my favorite yoga accompaniment music. Let’s get bendy.

Carly: I’ve never seen RJD2! I’m very excited. I know I’m like 12 years late here, but Deadringer was my shit. Plus one of my roommates is a massive fan, and has loved him every time he’s seen him.



Then I will turn it the fuck up, and maybe not in the way you’re thinking. Deafheaven. I missed them at one of the last nights of 285 Kent, and while I wouldn’t say Governor’s Ball is the ideal place to see them (Saint Vitus is the obvious choice here), I still don’t want to miss them again. My dad will be pleased I’m getting some metal in at the fest this year.

Megan: I’m going to Tanlines. I respect Deafheaven, but I can’t have someone scream at me this early in the day. I’ve gotta save my angst for later on.

Carly: OK, so I’m ready now to get my dancing pants on (now that Deafheaven have caused me to poop in the other ones from their overwhelming uplifting metal barrages). It’s time for Classixx. Maybe a little Nancy Whang (of LCD Soundsystem) cameo?

Post-Classixx, I’m headed to see Chance the Rapper for the first time. He’ll be great in a festival setting, and I’m sure I’ll start seeing a lot of smoke flying around about now (see “Cocoa Butter Kisses” and “Smoke Again,” two of my favorite tracks from his beloved Acid Rap mixtape).

Megan: I’ll be over at Fitz and the Tantrums, bringing that big band sensibility to modern pop rock. While their albums have been hit and miss for me, they’re live shows are a blast. They will rival Janelle Monae for best dressed act at Governor’s Ball this year.

Megan: When 5:45 hits, it’s time to go Beat Scene. I’m gonna rage balls at The Glitch Mob. Their new album Love Death Mortality totally SHREDS. Yeah, you’re probably all like, “Well how can EDM shred? There aren’t any instruments!” LIES. Dude this new album plays like a rock album. They can make the world stop.

Carly: I’ll probably be taking a break after Disclosure before I hop in my time machine back to the early aughts for The Strokes followed by Spoon. Never seen either of them and boy am I st(r)oked.

Megan: THEN IT’S TIME FOR MY MAN SKRILLEX. This is the show that I’m most looking forward to. He’s got the Mothership y’all. His full length LP Recess is FIRE. He took his brand of dub and elevated it to a whole new level with reggae and melodic pop overlays. I’m in love. Plus I like throwing glow sticks at people. Yes, I’m aware I’m too old for this.

Carly: Hmmm tempting Megan. But I might check out Jack White just for the angry rant he’s bound to spew. Plus I’d love some throwback White Stripes and Raconteurs. If I’m still feeling turnt, I might just mosey over to Skrillex to see what his live show is all about. I can’t deny my curiosity.


Carly: This will be a late start for me compared to the rest of the weekend. While I am rather curious about garage punk band SKATERS, this day might just begin with Odd Future compadres Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler the Creator, who are playing back to back. Earl’s Doris was a gritty and morose hip hop album, and I’m really curious how this plays to a festival crowd. Last I saw him was at the tiny Element during Downtown Festival and he absolutely tore it up. Tyler will be more fun and raucous. Or at least I hope so, considering how much hates rap or something. Regardless, those Goblin tracks still bang (and some from Wolf too).

Megan: Truthfully, I don’t know much about The Bloody Beetroots, BUT I did meet a flight attendant after I left Output last Saturday and he said that the Live set involves a full funk band, and he seemed like a cool guy (the dude does an annual trip to Ibiza, BECAUSE HE CAN) so I’m going to take his advice and soak up this set.

Carly: I think I’ll check out The Kills at that time, solely based on friend and newly-minted FreeWilliamsburg music editor Pete’s recommendation.

Then it’s James Blake for me, who I am so excited to see, especially at sunset. I think it’ll be a visually and sonically stunning performance. James Blake’s music can be rather devastating. Maybe he’ll even loosen the set up a little with a Chance appearance (the two live together in LA, aww BFFs).

Megan: I always have a good time seeing Empire of the Sun, even if it’s true that one of the dudes doesn’t tour. Did you know it took me four live shows last summer to realize this? Alive was meh, but their live show holds up. My friend is really excited to see them on Sunday, so I know it will be a good dance party at the very least.

Carly: No shade, I did have a really fun time at Empire of the Sun at Made in America last summer, but there’s no question I’m seeing Interpol at this time. I’ve been binging on their early albums lately. Plus similarly, my friends are really excited to see them on Sunday, so it’ll be a blast. We’ll both be having a blast with friends!

As for Sunday headliner, I gotta go Vampire Weekend. Yes, I’ve seen them multiple times in the past year, but they have been so goddamn solid and joyous every time. It’s such a perfect way to end the weekend. A New York band who’ve come a long way, and really have only gotten better over time.

Megan: Damn yeah this one is tough, but I think Axwell ^ Ingrosso are gonna reel me in for Sunday night. Why not go out with a bang? And I heard rumors that they are premiering some new music at Governor’s Ball. Who doesn’t love Swedish House Mafia? Okay, probably people who hate the whole EDM movement, but whatever, if I get tired of candy ravers I’ll just wander over to Vampire Weekend and end Governor’s Ball on a mellow note.



  1. Does this website generate any revenue?

  2. I ask because the article is who to see at Gov ball and then the writers list EVERY SINGLE ACT AT GOV BALL. Thanks.

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