While Governors Island has to be one of the most scenic locations for a concert in New York City, it is also one of the toughest to get to. There is no direct access to the area so all concert-goers must be ferried over. The ferry leaves from Battery Park where there is a severe lack of parking garages open past midnight (obviously, this only matters to out-of-towners). Once at Battery Park, there is one giant line of attendees waiting to board a scarce few ferries. When I arrived at 5pm, the line was about a 45 minute wait. Unlike Governors Ball which was extremely consumer friendly allowing concert-goers to bring water and having free refills of water, Full Moon festival confiscated everyone’s sealed water bottles in hopes of selling them one of their outrageously priced five dollar unsealable water boxes (not bottles…boxes). So the bartender would open the box of water for you a throw away the cap so you either drink it all right then or risk spilling it from some out of control dancer. While law of supply and demand meant that people would of course by these boxes of water, it certainly did not endear them to anyone.
What was endearing was the beach club on Governors Island. Although not a large venue for an all day festival, the club boasts a large sandbox and plenty of shade (which was appreciated by all). Equally endearing was the concept of the festival. While one band was performing on one stage at the beach club, a DJ was spinning on the other stage. This equalled up to no lag in time with no music. Unfortunately that was often not the case. Although it wasn’t clear what caused the problem, the festival was already woefully off schedule by an hour in. Vikas Sapra was scheduled to start at 5:30pm instead he ended up spinning around 6:30 and his one hour set was cut in half. Still Vikas proved to be the most creative DJ of the festival. His live mashups and non-reliance on modern club hits and remixes showed him to be an out of the box thinker. His mix of R. Kelly‘s “Bump N Grind” with the instrumental from Ginuwine‘s “Pony” got the crowd as live as any house track played the other DJs.
Sapra was followed by Belgian duo, Float Fall. One might not call the male/female duo ‘s set exciting, they did captured the attention of the audience with their slo-core production and live instrumentation. Rozanne Descheemaeker not only played keyboards but occasionally reached for a French horn while Ruben Lefever mostly played guitar. While it was not exactly dancing music, many attendees took it as a dinner break to eat food on the lawn while listening to the band.
Another band that captured the audiences attention with strange instrumentation was The Dolls. The female duo consisted of a DJ spinning and a violin player. The violin player never stopped moving for the entire set; her energy was endless. She managed to dance and play violin in platform shoes which was captivating for those not dancing. But the duos energetic performance of symphonic remixes of popular songs kept the crowd moving for the most part even when they brought out a string quartet to fill out their sound.
While the Dolls were a spectacle to be seen, Full Moon’s best sets were from two female fronted bands. Wild Belle played the beach stage as daylight began to fade. Their mix of chillwave and reggae gave people a reason to sway in the bay breeze with sand in their toes. Conversely, Little Daylight played a late set on the cozier second stage. Full Moon was the trio’s first festival performance ever and they did very well for themselves. Their crowd was the biggest for a second stage performance on the day. Although their seven song set went a little too quickly for many’s taste, it was filled with their blogosphere hits like “Glitter and Gold” and “Name In Lights.” They closed their set with “Overdose.”
The day’s festivities were closed out by Haerts and Miami Horror. Although Haerts were billed as one of Surviving the Golden Age’s sets to watch for, they played a lackluster set with lead singer, Nini Fabi’s vocals sounding a bit off for the entire set. After a few minutes of the set a decent amount of the crowd migrated over to the main stage to get their places for Miami Horror. For their part, Miami Horror did not disappoint. Their set was as flash and dynamic as expected. Singer/guitarist, Josh Moriarty played it up for the crowd performing solos on top of the speakers while humping his guitar. The crowd ate it up and left the island happy (save for the ferry line which again was quite the wait to get back).