Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo of The Bloody Beetroots at Governors Ball 2014

Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo of The Bloody Beetroots on day 3 of Governors Ball on June 8th, on Randall's Island in New York City

Eric Ryan Anderson

When the Bloody Beetroots, the brain child of Italian DJ-producer Bob Rifo, hits the road, it’s rebranded as “The Bloody Beetroots Live,” and for good reason. Onstage -- as they were at Governors Ball on Sunday (June 8) -- the act is often more like a rock band than an EDM one, with a mosh-pit energy and numerous tempo — and even genre — switches. "I love New York City just because they are so, so responsive," Rifo said of the city's crowd, backstage at the fest during a video interview with Billboard (watch it below).

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Rifo also discussed the Bloody Beetroots recent collaboration with Sir Paul McCartney -- the Beatle sang lead on the group's track "Out of Sight" in 2013. "That came up because we have common friends," Rifo says, adding they they enjoyed working together a lot. "It's a long story, but Paul is amazing. He's a great musician, probably the greatest one. Sometimes I say to myself, 'Wow, I've got a song with Paul."

But Rifo not resting on that achievement. "I'm just starting to write a new album," he shares.

Joined by a drummer as well as guitar and synths, Rifo sat at a grand piano for some parts of the Governors Ball set, played guitar dramatically during others, and jumped into mid-air splits throughout.

All three wore the act’s signature black Venom masks, of course, with Rifo’s augmented by eyes that glowed rhythmically.

For the first half of the show, the band beat the turned-up crowd into submission, alternating between lush beat breaks filled with pretty atmospherics and ear-splitting aggro beat drops backed by seizure-worthy strobe lights.

It was sometimes hard to tell the songs apart, thanks to the relentless onslaught of the almighty untz-untz. But halfway through, Rifo took the crowd for a different kind of loop, switching from techno into rapid rockabilly, and then segueing into thrash.

Later, there were cinematic breaks at the piano and Italo-disco strings that lead into more sudden hardcore twists, with Rifo screaming over System of a Down-like riffs. "Everybody keep on dancing!" he demanded, and surprisingly, despite the curveballs, the crowd obliged.

Billboard's Governors Ball 2014 Video