Grizzly Bear, The Lumineers, The Avett Brothers, and Deerhunter rock Randall's Island on the fest's final, sunniest day.
--They're five albums into a strong career, but Deerhunter shows still tend to focus around the antics of amicable, sometimes outburst-prone frontman Bradford Cox. Their Governors Ball set started no different, as Cox took the stage with, "I wonder what kind of bacteria are on this island?" He went on to muse about how oil is made from "our dead ancestors" and how they, in a way, would be powering the afternoon's show. With that out of the way, the five-piece rocked through a set that drew heavily from their new LP "Monomania" and also included "Halcyon Digest" standouts like "Don't Cry" and "Desire Lines." They appropriately went off in a sea of amps-cranked guitar squalor to the title track from "Monomania."
-- A chance for the audience to crowd surf with a shredding guitar player, UK Indie rockers Foals brought an incredible amount of energy to the Gov Ball NYC main stage for their 4:45 set. Frontman Yannis Philippakis climbed on stage first to a wildly applauding audience, building their sound as the rest filed in behind him to serenade the crowd with jams like "Total Life Forever" and "Olympic Airways," cuts from the groups earlier albums. "We've been on tour for about ten months now, and this is one of our last shows. We f**king love New York! Thanks for coming out," were the words Philippakis joyously exchanged with the crowd before launching into the frantic guitar fingerpicking involved in "My Number." At this point in the day they had opened up the center aisle down the middle of the audience, and Philippakis used the opportunity during "Red Socks Pugie" to take his guitar solo from the center of the crowd, and again during "Providence," leaping into the crowd during the song's wild shout chorus.
-- George Lewis Jr.'s indie new wave project Twin Shadow can be frustrating to experience live. A gracious master of ceremonies with some fine-tuned anthems in his back pocket, Lewis tends to sap the energy out of his crowd with oddly constructed set lists, and Sunday afternoon was no different. Despite front-loading the performance by playing "Confess" standouts "5 Seconds" and "Golden Light" within the first five songs, Lewis -- wielding a cherry-red guitar and wearing a baggy gray coat -- nevertheless provoked the crowd at the Skyy Vodka Tent several instances of clap-alongs. He also nodded to the overwhelming stench from the rain-soaked ground beneath his audience: "When I got here, I was a little worried about the smell of the mud," Lewis admitted, "but now it seems like it's a little piece of every one of you. It's nice."
-- Portugal. The Man played a handful of tracks from their Danger Mouse-produced album "Evil Friends," released this past Tuesday. Highlights included the infectious lead single "Purple Yellow Red & Blue" and the kinetic title track, which weaves pop hooks with pounding drums and impressive guitar work in a live setting. The Alaska natives were among the acts doing double festival duty this week, as they're set to play Bonnaroo next weekend as well (other acts heading to Tennessee after playing Gov Ball include Nas, The XX and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros.)
--At a time that might still be considered the early in the day (especially for grueling, three day festivals), Freddie Gibbs wasted no time in encouraging the audience to light up and hot box the Skyy Vodka Tent during this 2:15 set. Gibbs demonstrates an incredibly adept lyricism, as usual, often letting the beat drop out to make sure the crowd hears he can rap every single word without missing a beat - a feat he accomplished when he performed "National Anthem." He frequently uttered rejection of authority, with frequent utterances of "F**k the police!" during a set highlighted by a performance of "BFK," which had the audience bumping.
Reporting by William Gruger, Andrew Hampp, Jason Lipshutz, Chris Payne and Brad Wete