WRBB x Governors Ball
Full lineup here
We’re excited to bring you daily recaps from this year’s Gov Ball! Staff writer Jason Crouse will be on the ground on Randall’s Island for the weekend. Here’s what he’s most excited for.
Co-oping in New York has been a constant stream of new experiences; attending Governors Ball for the first time is yet another chance to try something new. I have been to Boston Calling a couple times and Pitchfork once, but neither operates at quite the scale and magnitude as Gov Ball. Gov Ball seems to be a flashy show of food, music, and fashion—like Coachella with fewer movie stars—and the vibe I expect is worlds away from the almost local small-town festival feel I got from BC and P4k over the last few years. Beyond my expectations of the atmosphere as a whole, the music side of things is providing quite some conflicting ideas of what to feel. This year’s lineup is eclectic, to say the least. I never thought I could see such a chaotic blend of throwbacks, fresh talent, nobodies, personal favorites, and randos, but they ‘dun did it. Because of the diversity of this lineup, I couldn’t be more thrilled for the coming weekend. Here’s who I’m most looking forward to seeing:
2018 was a tumultuous year for the self-proclaimed `best boy-band since One Direction,` and though it seemed like they were about to meet their end after the dramatic ousting of former member Ameer Vann, the rest of the year brought the release of one of their best albums to date along with an extensive tour across America. The first and only time I have seen Brockhampton was at Boston Calling 2018– their first performance without Vann, and a moment from which they could clearly only go up. Their performance was indescribable in the absolute best way. I managed to carry my uber-expensive camera setup all the way to the fourth row to spray-and-pray, ultimately snapping my favorite photos I have ever shot and marking one of the most thrilling moments in my years as a concert photographer. A year later with even more music released and plenty of practice performing as a smaller group, I can’t even begin to imagine the show BROCKHAMPTON has in store for this year’s Governors Ball.
Mitski is one of those artists who expresses the simplest feelings in such an eloquent way that makes you just say “damn…..I felt that.” I have seen her five times, in settings ranging from huge festivals to intimate sub-100 capacity venues, and given that history along with no new music having been released in almost a year I don’t really expect this show to be much of a groundbreaking experience for me. Regardless, every Mitski show is something of an emotional journey, and I fully expect to half-bawl, half-sing for her entire performance as I try to capture a few decent shots.
WRBB booked SABA for Block Party 2018 which capped afterHours (something I have surprisingly never seen happen) and was one of the most Hype moments I have experienced at Northeastern.Everyone and their mothers seemed to suddenly know who Saba was a few months later when he performed a set for NPR’s Tiny Desk and joined almost every summer festival’s lineup. I’m interested to see how his show comes through at a larger scale now that I am actually fairly familiar with his content.
King Princess is one of the new artists I have been most excited and enthralled by in the last year or so. The music scene– especially the Pop and Indie-Pop scenes– need so many more queer artists to tell their stories and bring often-silenced voices to the public eye. Every time a new queer artist breaks into the spotlight it feels as if media and consumers look at them expecting them to be The One And Only Voice Of Queerness. King Princess has never let this set her back. She has released a bunch of impeccable tracks over the last year providing some valuable personal insight into queer experiences with love and life, and has handled the inherent pressure that comes with being a representative of an underrepresented group with eloquence and grace. Sometimes I feel like I’ve wasted my time when I see new artists thriving who are my age or even younger, but quickly I’m reminded that it really isn’t that deep and I go right back to lifting up and supporting those artists so they can speak for me as well.
My ex introduced me to Cautious Clay in the latter half of last year. 2018’s Blood Type was often present on my Spotify during and after that relationship, accompanying my fluctuating emotions during times peppered with intimacy and frustration and confusion and bliss, all tied together with a funky back-beat that stuck with me for a while. It was a warm and soothing album, though I forgot about the EP for a minute while I was bombarded with other new releases that kept my attention elsewhere. I was reeled right back in when Table of Context was released at the beginning of 2019. Clay’s buttery smooth voice has a way of making me feel some type of way, and it will be intriguing to see how a voice suited so well for an intimate cabaret translates to the empty grandeur of a festival stage.
SZA’s CTRL was the main driving force that got me through my deathly sickness era in my Sophomore year at Northeastern. I don’t have many strong memories from that time, but I have vivid recollections of walking to class with SZA’s silky smooth vocals singing to me about love and loss and dedication. For someone who had never been in a relationship and whose greatest struggle was the Mononucleosis he was in the midst of fighting, her emotions resonated with me anyway. As I gained new experiences and grew and hurt and healed over the subsequent months, her feelings expressed in that album came to mean even more to me and I am ready to sit and contemplate my life and maybe shed a single tear while Mama SZA sings right to me.
The. Fucking. Strokes. My only thoughts about seeing The Strokes revolve fully around my earlys 2010s identity as a Tumblr band fandom kid, and for a long time I truly thought The Strokes were basically equivalent to the Smiths– a pre-2000s band that broke up long before I even knew what music was and who I would never see. I was a little naive and uneducated though, and I don’t think I ever listened to their entire discography despite what I would like to claim I have listened to. I wish Julian Casablancas would take a shower, but unless the festival gets rained out during their set I don’t have much of a chance at making that happen. Regardless, The Strokes are legendary and I am thrilled to add them to my concert archive.