Governors Ball 2015: Florence Seeks Out a Fan, Future Causes Afternoon Grinding & 20 Memorable Friday Moments
The 2015 Governors Ball Music Festival kicked off in New York on Friday (June 5), and while Drake delivered a doozy of a headlining set and artists like Florence + The Machine, Chromeo and Future delivered masterful performances, the entire day was brimming with memorable sights and sounds. Check out 20 of the most unforgettable moments from Friday at Governors Ball -- the best surprise guests, funniest stage banter, weirdest fan interactions and more.
1:40 PM: Slim Jimmy of hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd falls offstage and seriously injures his leg minutes into the group's afternoon performance. Swae Lee, Rae Sremmurd's other half, tells the crowd, "This shit is pretty crazy. ... This n---a's leg is like, split open, I'm serious," after examining his partner behind the DJ booth. Eventually, the rapper is carted offstage and into an ambulance.
2:36 PM: A refreshing mist settles on the early-bird crowd that has gathered to see Gorgon City's live setup. Fresh off a well-received performance at Brooklyn's Output, the outfit launches into underrated cut "Imagination" featuring Katy Menditta, sending all in attendance into movement.
3:26 PM: "This is for all the ladies -- with the pussy power!" exclaims Charli XCX, ripping into the electric "Body of My Own." A punk rocker masquerading as a pop star, England's baddest girl reps for the ladies during her afternoon set at the Honda Stage, running through singles "SuperLove," "Doing It" and "Break the Rules," flashing her bra at the crowd with a no-holds-barred 'tude.
3:38 PM: While Future's energy isn't as high as during other shows, he keeps the crowd's eyes on him with popular featured verses and something for the ladies. A young couple is seen vociferously grinding in the afternoon sunshine as Future croaks out his minimalist ballad "I Won," which also causes a nearby group of female tweens to squeal and hug one another. The couple does not continue grinding when "Bugatti" drops, however.
3:58 PM: British drum-n-bass band Rudimental are known for their infectious on-stage energy, but as they launched into "Right Here," their collaboration with Foxes to kick off their Friday afternoon set, the sound failed them. The acoustics were so poor that it was tough to watch Amir Amor and DJ Locksmith wil' out on stage when, if you were standing more than six or seven rows back, it sounded like someone was playing the jams out of their laptop. Occasionally, a flash of whooping bass would leap out of the speakers, but it was more of a tease than a signal to turn up. It wasn't the band's fault, and crowd stood by them anyway, rallying through hits like "Not Giving In" and "Solo."
4:11 PM: Hanging out backstage, Vance Joy admits that he had to overcome some nerves before playing his first stadium as Taylor Swift's 1989 tour opener, but says that he's brimming with confidence now that he has five shows of the tour under his belt.
4:20 PM: While MØ mined mesmerizing, dark synth-pop vibes for the majority of her late afternoon set, the moment (MØment?) that really gets the crowd talking at Governors Ball is unabashedly pop. The Danish singer-songwriter turns out a slowed-down, sultry version of the Spice Girls' No. 3 Hot 100 hit "Say You'll Be There." It's a total delight that seems inevitable in retrospect – wearing a ponytail, sports bra and track pants, MØ was in Sporty Spice mode even before she sang a syllable of Spice.
4:28 PM: After discussing the next DIIV album, which is tentatively due in early October, Zachary Cole Smith mentions that he's heard a good chunk of his girlfriend Sky Ferreira's new album and says that it's "mind-blowing." He name-checks Fever Ray as a sonic cousin to the Night Time, My Time follow-up, and says that Ferreira's sessions with Primal Scream have yielded incredible results.
5:09 PM: Chromeo frontman Dave Macklovitch slows things down after "Come Alive," saying, "Here's a little guitar thing I've been working on," as he toys around with a riff. That riff turns into the familiar Afropop intro of Vampire Weekend's "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa," and none other than Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig trots out onstage. The Chromeo-Vampire Weekend bromance reached a new peak as they performed the song together, giving fans the closest thing they'll see to a Vampire Weekend live show this summer (the band is on a break as it plots its fourth album) after the group headlined Governors Ball last year.
5:56 PM: Death From Above 1979 singer-drummer Sebastien Grainger breaks from the band's raucous set for a shout-out to a special someone: "The next one is a love song. It's dedicated to my beautiful wife Eva because it's her birthday tomorrow." He led a birthday chant, but admitted there wasn't enough time for a full-on "Happy Birthday," and jumped right into the 2004 track "Go Home, Get Down."
6:17 PM: Odesza has been incorrectly shoved inside the tiny Gotham Tent, and are making the festival organizers pay by drawing one of the biggest crowds of the day, bar none. The Seattle EDM duo makes the overlarge crowd lose its collective mind when it drops "How Did I Get Here," from 2012's Summer's Gone.
7:02 PM: The cool, marshy temperatures of the shaded Honda Stage seem to be suiting the Decemberists just fine - literally. The folk-rock outfit is decked out in formal attire that would normally look out of place at a sweatier fest. Frontman Colin Meloy, clad in a three-piece gray suit, is just grateful for the dry conditions as the band plays selections from new album What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World: "We've been playing a lot of shows for the last two and a half weeks and it's just rained consistently. So I think you should consider yourself lucky that the Pacific Northwest has not followed us here."
7:36 PM: With Florence + The Machine's headlining set officially kicking off across the island on the GovBallNYC Stage, the Decemberists' crowd is thinning, which has not gone unnoticed by Meloy. After holding out his mic for audience backup on "16 Military Wives"' "la di da" refrain, the singer whimpers, "I expected better from you." He then tries again - 10 more times, to be exact - before hearing his desired volume.
7:38 PM: "I keep forgetting that I broke my foot, and I keep jumping up and down," Florence + The Machine leader Florence Welch tells the crowd at Governors Ball, less than two months after injuring herself during the first weekend of Coachella. Fortunately, Welch has some help this time: "They had to make me stairs, and there are stairs with giant white tape that say, 'FLORENCE. STEPS.'"
8:09 PM: What injured ankle? Florence Welch prances, prowls and parades around the Governors Ball main stage like a mythic beast unleashed after forced captivity. Aside from performing highlights from the band's new album and a toned-down rendition of her Calvin Harris collabo "Sweet Nothing," Florence invites a hug-seeking festival-goer onstage for an ostentatious onstage embrace. But part of Florence + the Machine's show might have been a, well, show – the frontwoman is spotted being carried offstage by a burly helper after her set, indicating that her ankle may not be as fully-healed as her stage presence suggested.
8:35 PM: Standing at six-foot-11, Joakim Noah, the Chicago Bulls forward, is hard to miss palling around in the VIP area as Drake's crew starts setting up.
9:03 PM: Electro mavens Ratatat are crushing the Gotham tent, supplying sheen confections with stellar visuals. The Brooklyn duo light up the sundown crowd, running through cuts including "Loud Pipes," "Gettysburg" and "Mandy," and also preview tracks from their upcoming album Magnifique.
9:10 PM: Despite her distant artistic aura, St. Vincent's motto for a live show is brilliantly blunt: "Leave no ass unfucked." That goal is fulfilled (and then some) on Friday night at Governors Ball, where Annie Clark leads her reliably killer band through a lengthy set before bringing things to a cataclysmic close with a 10-minute instrumental freak out.
9:30 PM: One song in ("Legend"), and Drake has the ever-growing mass of concertgoers in the palm of his hand. He's only heightening the energy with every song, especially If You're Reading This It's Too Late tracks such as "Know Yourself" and "Energy." But this wouldn't be a Drake set if he didn't take a few minutes to croon to the ladies with some slow-tempo songs, such as crowd favorite, "Hold On, We're Going Home."
10:02 PM: Drake has tweaked his set a bit since his Coachella headlining outing in April, and one of the best additions is his remix of Fetty Wap's "My Way," which gets all of the audience crooning along with the "Trap Queen" rapper's prerecorded hook.