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Posted Jun 10th, 2015 (9:27 pm) by James Hughes
Governors Ball Music Festival 2015: Day 2
Image by Bethany Rees/DOLA Photography

Hump day here at Governors Ball brought out a blast of electronic dance music and pop to the stages Saturday. The day two lineup featured heavy hitters Bjork, Deadmau5, and Ryan Adams as the main attractions. But, for those who showed up early, they were treated to some uncrowded stages with quality acts. Astr, Clean Bandit, Moon Taxi, and Sharron Van Etten pulled in an early crowd to the island.

ASTR kicked off my day with bass-heavy dance pop that energized every early bird who made the island trek early. Their stage presence was captivating the audience, and with only two people onstage, that can be a hard move to pull off. ASTR appreciated the crowd, and showed their appreciation by blasting faces with deep bass. Under the Gotham stage tent provided a cool sanctuary away from the hot summer sun. Highlights from the set included; the crowd willing to dance themselves silly, and in honor of the Friday headliner Drake, Astr covered “Hold On, We’re Going Home” with a slight female twist.

The reverberations of Clean Bandit's radio friendly, and crowd friendly style continued on the high energy/good vibes of the day. The group was just entering their hit single “Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne)” as fans rushed to the stage from the ASTR set. While I was not in the biggest rush to join the plethora of high school seniors, I made my way to the food.

After a couple jalapeno corn dogs and a trip to the free Vitamin Water stand, I took a recommendation to go see my next set, Marina and the Diamonds. As we all waited for the set to start, it became clear that sunscreen would have been a good choice. Not knowing anything about the artist, I went in with an open mind. When she hit the stage and performed, Marina and the Diamonds immediately fell in line with the theme of the day of electronic and pop music. Also, her outfit matched her sound to the tee - purple and tight. That made for a quick 45 minute set, so as the day rolled on I needed to escape the pop music and relax for a short while before Little Dragon hit the GOVBALLNYC stage. The down tempo of Sharron Van Etten at the Big Apple stage was a relaxing change of pace from the electro pop that had flooded the day.

Little Dragon presented experimental funk with deep throbbing bass that made all the people move. The Swedish electronic music band from Gothenburg made their way to New York City for their pre-Bjork set. If you have never heard of Little Dragon, they have worked alongside industry juggernauts the Gorillaz, Big Boi, and De La Soul.

Atmosphere brought his old school flavor to the Big Apple stage. His punk approach to hip-hop proved to be a useful tactic for a live show. Rowdy calls to the crowd amped up those in attendance. On the way to my next set I stopped into the Sennheiser silent disco tent. What I have always seen as the most polite way to party hard, the silent disco is a staple for any festival. The tent hosted a handful of DJs through the weekend for all to enjoy as a lovely break from the live music and beating sun.

Flume, the Australian electronic producer, drew a crowd. The odd breaks and heavy bass from the down-under DJ brought the Honda stage crowd to a high that kept many away from the alluring Deadmau5 performance. Please make sure to see Flume before he starts selling out his tours because that will soon be a reality for the new electronic artist.

The Deadmau5 set did run into problems with a power outage problem that set back the performance. And, an ecletic mix of electronic dance music and rock and roll filled the Saturday lineup with a club atmosphere which I thoroughly enjoyed. Though Deadmau5 and Ryan Adams were the day’s headlining acts - Little Dragon and Flume won the day, in my opinion, for them both beating my own personal expectations. Look out for day three’s lineup tomorrow.

Photography by Bethany Rees/DOLA Photography

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