Dispatches From The Governor’s Ball

Note: a version of this piece first appeared on Big Ass Lens, Sunday, June 24th. Though the text is reprinted in its entirety, the gallery presented here contains photos that differ from the original posting.

Standing at the foot of the bridge, with its green paint and imposing size, I tried to predict what lay ahead of me. It was the Saturday of Governor’s Ball, and we had packed no less than 10 waters, an eighth of the good stuff, some mildly addictive stimulants, and a schedule that included Santigold, Major Lazor, Passion Pit and Duck Sauce. Would we manage to smuggle our goodies in? Would security deny the lens and all its girth? We had more questions than answers, yet we looked ahead to a day of hard partying, oversized beers, and shellfish sandwiches. There was no mistaking: today was going to rule, and nothing was going to stop us.

Time to pass through security. I think I’ll choose the line with the friendly black lady who might be more lenient with me. I pass through without a problem. I breathe a sigh of relief and stroll into the open field, passing bodies clad in neon threads, eyes obscured by bright sunglasses, honeys all around. Dance music blares from afar; although we do not know who plays, it is a welcome sound that passed through our chests, filling it with anticipation and hope for the fun times ahead. Today, we shall party and dance with reckless abandon without regard for tomorrow.

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Watch: Tame Impala "Solitude is Bliss (Live)"

Tame Impala played the first of two sold out shows in Manhattan last night, and Big Ass Lens was there to watch them catch wreck. Check out a video from this show of their single, “Solitude is Bliss”, a polite and tightly packaged monster of a track which we captured in glorious BAL goodness. All the hallmarks of the band are present – roaming, reverb drenched vocals, sun splashed guitar, and a slyly shifting rhythmic section. And just to take a moment, what a rhythm section! Nick Allbrook’s seriously killer bass playing keeps the foundation upfront but frequently improvises lines over top, while Jay Watson stabs in and out with a crack and clatter reminiscient of Nick Mason. All of this is packaged with a great sense of pop songcraft perfect for those who like their Beatles passed through a ray of psych.

Tame Impala play again tonight, and while tickets have long since sold out, Bowery should be releasing a few tickets later in the evening (as they did yesterday around 9:30). If not, there’s always craigslist. For more on Tame Impala, visit Big Ass Lens.