The folks at Founders Entertainment will show off some new digs this weekend, launching their first Queens-based fall music festival that’s touting enough ammo to bring Kanye back to town. Following six highly successful installments of Governors Ball, the independent producers have proven that they have real New York staying power, and then some. The Meadows, which will take place this Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 1-2) will gift music lovers with a chance to extend their summer festival season for one more weekend of fun in the dwindling sun.
While there are plenty of huge reasons to hit The Meadows this weekend we want to let you know about some lesser known artists whose sets you won’t want to miss during your time spent between Citifield and Flushing Meadows Corona Park, as well as a few more established ones that have chosen The Meadows as the scene to lay down some insanely cool, new shit.
So when you’re not chowing down on local eats at Infatuation Village, the hot spot to sink into the borough’s best bites, you’re going to want to swing by to see these guys.
Empire of the Sun (Saturday, 6:10 PM, Queens Blvd) – These futuristic festival veterans graced Governors Ball’s first ever lineup, back when it was just a one-day event set on the tiny island where it got its namesake. Hot off the announcement of their third studio album, Empire of the Sun will also be contributing their dance-friendly style of rock and roll to the The Meadows’ inaugral event. While you’re likely to be exposed to the kiwi duo’s signature fanfare (think other worldly costumes, an impressive troupe of unitard sporting dancers and the promise of a few smashed guitars) they’re newest single To Her Door (which features the legendary Lindsay Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac) hints to a sweeter, more folksy sound. Listen to it exclusively on NPR here.
Robert DeLong (Sunday, 2:00 PM, Queens Blvd) – If you’re a regular FREEwilliamsburg reader, you probably recall me gushing over this “one-man electro pop band” in the past. Rising from the modest clubs of Los Angeles to Billboard’s Top 40 charts, the Long Way Down singer/songwriter has proven that a title like the aforementioned doesn’t even begin to cover his many talents. Equipped with joysticks, video-game controllers and electronic drum pads, DeLong’s stage setup looks more like something you might find at a demo booth at a high-end tech conference than a mid-sized music venue. But as soon as the vocal loops start rolling, and the Microsoft sidewinder buttons start triggering custom visuals, you’ll realize you are in store for a musical experience quite unlike anything else you’ll find at The Meadows this weekend.
Twin Shadow Performing Purple Rain (Sunday, 7:00 PM, Linden Blvd) – The world was rocked when Prince passed away suddenly in March, but it also reignited a flame of adoration for one of pop’s most beloved icons. Last week, Los Angeles-based synth rocker George Lewis Jr. aka Twin Shadow performed Prince’s 1984 album Purple Rain in its entirety for an audience of die-hard fans at the Masonic Lodge located on the grounds of one Santa Monica Boulevard’s most famous cemeteries. While Flushing Meadows Park is certainly a less morose venue than the one that played host to the initial tribute, fans will undoubtedly enjoy singing legendary hits like I Will Die For U and the album’s title track during this rare repeat performance.
World’s Fair (Saturday, 12:30 PM, Queens Blvd) – Perhaps the most appropriately named band to grace the lineup of The Meadows, World’s Fair are a rap collective straight out of Queens. Featuring big names like Remy Banks (who was recently featured on Boys Noize’s 2016 powerhouse LP Mayday) and Prince SAMO, World’s Fair is sure to get early afternoon crowds amped with their high energy brand of hip-hop that comes slathered with local flavor. Banks once told The Village Voice, “If you come to a World’s Fair Show, you know you’re going to come through and see some weird shit. You’re gonna see things thrown off the stage like blow-up dolls and doo rags, and a lot of women too. If you’re a guy and you come to a World’s Fair show, you’re going to find yourself a nice little woman that’s into hip-hop.” Well, our interest is piqued.
Zhu (Saturday, 7:45 PM, Linden Blvd) – This mysterious masked producer is known for generating more buzz than a vintage can of Four Loko (sorry, that was terrible). Perhaps most well known for his deep house hit Faded, Zhu hit the scene in 2014 and quickly became one of EDM’s most elusive characters (he’s also become a force in the fashion world, but since this is a music event, we can pass on highlighting his line of minimalist $300+ t-shirts). After years of touring under a guise of anonymity, Zhu took off the mask and revealed himself as Steven Zhu, a Chinese-American artist in his late 20s with a knack for making the melancholy cool again. His debut album, Generationwhy, which was released earlier this summer, offers a glimpse of the darker side of today’s electronic music. Zhu’s sounds are not the sparkly, bright and bouncy ones you’re most likely to find on the main stage at Electric Zoo, but rather slower, more eerily infectious tracks that find themselves more fitting for cinema or enjoyed alongside those nightcaps you really didn’t need at that blurry after hours party whose flier read “secret location”.
Tickets including 2-day GA and Saturday VIP tickets are still available on The Meadows official website.