The final day of the three-day Governors Ball festival kicked off with female West Coast natives Banks and Meg Myers. Sporting all black in the heat, Banks’ gentle vibrato was carried across the Gotham Stage. Downbeat tunes “Change”, “Warm Water”, and “Drowning” were highlights of her set. Earlier, Myers screeched into the microphone at the crescendo of “Heart Heart Head”. The petite rocker’s set punctuated through the early as distorted guitars backed “Go”. With a cello on the mainstage Myers belted through emotional track, “Adelaide”.
To a legion of head bobbing fans, Tyler, the Creator spit lyrics to tunes from Wolf, his 2013 release after he joined Earl Sweatshirt on the adjacent stage minutes before. Thundering beats blasted across waves of raised arms and middle fingers as he and Earl Sweatshirt chanted to Tyler, The Creator’s backing tracks “Yonkers”, and “Rella”. The high-octane set continued on as the profane entertainer called out the VIP before he growled out “Suck Dick”. Close to the entrance of the festival, guests underhand-tossed bean bags and carefully arranged oversized jenga blocks while listening to acts on the mainstage or Gotham stage. A selection of cool treats from flavoured ice to handmade popsicles were popular options during the hot day.
The Honda Stage was overrun with J. Cole fans who jammed to “Return of Simba”, ‘Blow Up” and “Work on Me”. Cole announced that it was his first time on Randall’s Island before breaking into his next song. What began as a high energy set descended into audience members leaving the stage as Cole sat between songs and frequently requested audience participation. Later, full-voiced James Blake created a live loop during his set of song “Measurements” similar to the layered harmony in “Woods” by Bon Iver. Another notable soulful performance from the singer was his cover of “Hope She’ll be Happier” by Bill Withers.
EDM group Empire of the Sun delivered an expected colourful and theatrical show under the Gotham Stage tent, which opened with “Walking on a Dream”. White-masked Geisha in golden robes followed exaggerated choreography as the crowd shouted the lyrics. “We Are the People” featured an elaborate light show and projections of otherworldly characters and places and dancers in space-garb moved to electric guitar backed “DNA”.
Closing the night were Grammy award-winning headliners Vampire Weekend on the main stage and EDM legends Axwell and at the Honda stage. Kicked off with “Diane Young”, the fun set was filled with surfer riffs Fans shimmied to summer-fun track “Cousins” and “A-Punk”. Without theatrics the band performed a fun show with shy grins and rockabilly swagger.
Festival goers said goodbye to Randalls Island as some trekked by foot across the bridge to Manhattan vowing to return the following summer.