#TuesdayTop10: Governor’s Ball 2012 highlights

After spending the past weekend on Randall’s Island in New York City for the Governor’s Ball Music Festival, I have a good tan, sore feet, and an iPhone full of instagram. I have decided to unleash these instagrams in a post of highlights (and lowlights) of the weekend.

10. MCA Tribute


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Although the MCA tributes were not plentiful by any means, they were subtly tributes like this banner posted on the fence near the food booths.

09. Major Lazer

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I can not decide if Major Lazer‘s mid-day Saturday set belonged on the highlight or lowlight reel. On the plus side, Diplo and company clearly owned the crowd. On the down side, they invited girls on stage to do booty drops and one young woman took it as an opportunity to go topless, don a cape, and hump the ground. Clearly not a proud day for her or her family.

08. Fiona Apple

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Governor’s Ball was Fiona Apple‘s only festival date probably for a good reason; her music is not exactly fit for festivals. Her delicate music required a mostly tipsy crowd to be on their best behavior. While clearly many in the crowd enjoyed her hour long set, it just felt odd to be outdoors with a couple thousand of my closest friends completely silent and still.

07. The Art

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While art installments are becoming more and more a norm in summer festivals, there was still something wonderful about the festival’s decor. Returning from last year, were the balloon chains over the fair ground. On Sunday (pride day in the city), there were two rainbow balloon chains that looked stunning and I’d be remiss if not to mention the 8-foot-tall GovBallNYC sign on the hill pictured above.

06. Modest Mouse

I came into Modest Mouse‘s set not knowing what to expect. Last time I saw the band, they played an odd set containing nearly none of their most popular tracks. This time around it seemed that Isaac Brock and company wanted nothing more than to make their fans happy. The set was packed full of the hits including “Paper Thin Walls,” “Fire It Up,” “Dashboard,” and “Bukowski.” Notably missing from the set was “Float On,” “The World at Large,” “Ocean Breathes Salty,” and “3rd Planet.”

05. Duck Sauce

Best stage prop goes to Duck Soup at #govballnyc

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Of all the DJ sets that Saturday included, none were quite as good as Duck Sauce. While Major Lazer’s set was a debauchery filled, Duck Sauce seemed to be concerned with nothing but impressing each other and having fun. While they were a little bit of one trick ponies (pretty much a four-on-the-floor beat for the entire set), there was just something fun about watching the two expert DJs interact with eachother and the crowd.

04. Santigold

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I always think of Santigold as being a serious artist but there was a genuine sense of joy during her performance and a fair amount of goofiness. Like she performed her collaboration with Major Lazer “Hold the Line” and brought out a two-person horse costume while her two dancers danced with lassos around the horse. It was tongue-in-cheek and clearly Santi was having a lot of fun.

03. Built to Spill

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Doug Martsch and company played their only NYC 2012 show of the year on Sunday. Sadly, Built to Spill played Sunday’s last 45 minute set before the hour sets kicked in. With the band’s leanings toward roaming guitar solo and general jamming, the set list was not exactly expansive. Kicking the set off with “In The Morning” was a pleasant surprise for me.

02. The Food

If you were not enjoying the music, there was more than enough great food to enjoy. Pictured above is my watermelon juice and crispy bussel sprouts (which were amazing) from FoodFreaks. I can also personally vouch for Asia Dog‘s hot dog with Japanese curry and homemade kimchi apples.

01. Beck

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Going in to Governor’s Ball, Beck was the set I was looking forward to the most and he did not disappoint. Besides a three or four song middle comprised of his slower singer/songwriter stuff, his set was a well put together smattering of hits and just generally fun tracks. The crowd seemed to react pretty well except for a few who decided to leave immediately after Beck played “Loser.”


  • Mona H says:

    Yay, I was looking forward to this update. Glad my fair city treated you well. Would love to hear if you discovered any new music, though.

  • Adam Morgan says:

    Big Gigantic played a fairly non-annoying brand of dubstep (along with live saxophone and drums) which was pretty good but that was about it for artists that were completely new to me.

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