Day three of Governors Ball 2015 came to a close with the glamour of Lana Del Rey and the retro rock of the Black Keys leading the way. But there was much more to Sunday, June 7 on Randall’s Island — naked dancing, Amish paradises, and swanky shoutouts. The Billboard staff covered a lot of ground throughout the day, and presents this final daily recap of goings on large and small on the island. How’s your FOMO doing?
1:58 PM: Despite the relatively “early” hour for dedicated Gov Ballers, Echosmith rocks the stage by playing matchmaker and bringing 2 volunteers (they specifically requested one guy and one girl) onstage to dance and “pretend they’re in love” during the upbeat folk performance of “Come With Me.”
2:14 PM: As Echosmith reaches the first chorus of the set-closing “Cool Kids,” a woman in the back of the crowd is dancing fully nude, save for a black fannypack. She attracts a crowd of onlookers before retrieving her discarded dress.
2:32 PM: Jamaican jam band Chronixx and Zinc Fence Redemption seamlessly recovers from around a dreadful, minute-long tearing sound blaring from the speakers at the Big Apple stage. The groove goes on!
3:08 PM: Sarahjane Gibson of the New Zealand trio Streets of Laredo was a social sciences high school teacher years ago, and a special student attended her school. “I taught at the high school that Lorde went to,” she tells Billboard. “She wasn’t in my class, but I knew her. She was very smart.”
3:31 PM: Maryland-bred rapper Logic exudes positivity from the Honda Stage, leading the crowd in a chant of, “I’m special!” Earlier on he remarked how happy he was to be spending his first year on the festival circuit, and that exuberance bubbles over here. He emphatically reminds his onlookers that they can be the best at whatever it is they want to do, whether its rapping, producing, being a doctor, or being the best mom or dad.
3:40 PM: Decked out in denim gripping his acoustic guitar, Sturgill Simpson ends his well-received set with a characteristic screeching growl, accompanied by a few bluesy riffs and a quick walk off stage.
3:50 PM: As hardcore rap blares to hype the crowd, Royal Blood drummer Ben Thatcher, clad in a Brooklyn Nets jersey and cap, took the stage to cheers, raising his beer to the crowd. It’s obvious the rock duo is more than ready to go, as they launch into riff-heavy signature “Come On Over,” giving off a vibe of Alice Cooper meets Jane’s Addiction. “New York what’s up, we’re from England!” Frontman Mike Kerr yells. “Check this shit out!” And as the crowd finds out — a two piece can rage just as hard as a full group, thanks to the lead singer’s well crafted pedal board and romantic lead vocals.
4:40 PM: A bleached-blond, decked-in-black Mayer Hawthorne is reeling through the riffs of his Steely Dan-indebted set-closer “The Stars Are Ours,” with no less than three rounds of guitar solos between him and his white-shirted band members.
4:48 PM: After arriving at Randall’s Island on foot Sunday afternoon, a white male in his late twenties quoted Drake to his friends. Why is that worth attention? Because he shouted, “N—a we made it!” Fact check: the only thing he made was the universe cry.
5:10 PM: A throng of young girls wearing duck beak masks start screaming and jumping when New York’s A-Trak, best known in some circles as the head of Fool’s Gold Records, drops Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money.” But despite the slightly scared glances of the crowd around them, the masks were merely a reference to A-Trak’s supergroup Duck Sauce, with fellow DJ Armand van Helden.
5:35 PM: Less than a minute after Tame Impala kicked into their most recognizable song — the mellow, vibe-y “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” — the smell of pot wafted in from every direction.
6:29 PM: “Weird Al” Yankovic knows exactly how to please fans both casual and dedicated over the past 30 years, by giving them exactly what they’d expect from a Weird Al show: costume-authentic re-enactments of his most famous parody songs and videos. This includes the hat-trick finale of last year’s “Word Crimes” (for which he dons Robin Thicke’s Beetlejuice-esque striped leisure suit), 1996’s “Amish Paradise” (yup, full beard and Mennonite garb) and encore “Yoda,” the Star Wars-studded twist on The Kinks’ “Lola” for which Yankovic strapped on his famous accordion atop a Jedi toga.
6:32 PM: During War on Drugs’ atmospheric, immensely satisfying set, a group of people huddle together to discuss who at the festival was most likely selling drugs, based on appearance. The team leader directs a friend toward “the guy with the head band” while he decides to go after another man in a flower crown (“I’ll try asking this crazy fucker.”) Neither effort pans out.
6:47 PM: Weird Al closes his set with Yoda after 11 costumes changes and songs ranging from “I’m Fat” to “Handy.” The crowd went craziest for “White and Nerdy” when Weird Al did the first half of the song from a segway.
6:50 PM: Unfortunately for the former Oasis frontman, the turnout was less than stellar (one fifth of Tame Impala’s draw) at the onset of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ set at the main stage. Despite the disappointing numbers, Gallagher and company run through a slew of solid Americana rock cuts off their new LP Chasing Yesterday. It seems like the turnout might have wore on him, as the typically very vocal Gallagher keeps mostly quiet during the set. Yet the legendary rocker doesn’t disappoint fans hoping to hear a classic. “This is one for the moms and dads in the back,” he quips before launching into the Oasis hit “Champagne Supernova,” the crowd singing along at full volume to, “Where were you while we were getting high?”
7:46 PM: Undeterred by suspect sound on the Honda Stage, an enthusiastic crowd turns up to support Colorado live/electronic outfit Big Gigantic. Wearing matching white tees, saxophonist Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salken fire up the audience with swinging melodic leads and freewheeling rhythms that provide a jamming live funk backbone to the group’s electronic elements. The artists launch into new single “Get On Up,” extending the upbeat offering with an energetic moombahton interlude while cannabis leaves, astronauts and, of course, saxophones tumble across the screens.
7:53 PM: If the crowd wasn’t gathering around Gallagher at the get-go, it is now. Onlookers look back in interest as Noel closes his set with a majestic performance of the Oasis classic “Don’t Look Back in Anger.”
8:01 PM: Just moments after Noel Gallagher’s High-Flying Birds wrap up on the GovBall stage with an anthemic rendition of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back In Anger,” A-Trak sets up shop behind the decks for his *second* set of the night, this time an all-hip-hop set exclusively for Samsung users in the Galaxy owners lounge to the main stage’s immediate right. A one-two-three punch of Kanye West’s “All Day,” Big Sean and Drake’s “Blessings” and Fetty Wap’s “My Way” ensures the intimate but hyped crowd will be properly hyped up for New York Senator Chuck Schumer’s annual remarks at 8:30 — and, oh yeah, the Black Keys in just over an hour.
8:45 PM: Flying Lotus is pleasantly guileless and real during a set stuffed with tracks from the practically-perfect You’re Dead! album. “I’ve been locked in a cave for weeks,” the DJ/producer admits toward the end of his set. “This shit is nerve-wracking, man. I’m just a dude up here.”
9:03 PM: Hot Chip puts a bow on a thrillingly uptempo set with a funky, synth-heavy cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark.” It takes the audience about three bars to catch onto the cover, but once it does, a mass singalong ends the set.
9:19 PM: New York native Lana Del Rey doesn’t have to say a thing to elicit what has to be the loudest cheers to reach The Honda Stage all weekend, and it’s not just because Governors Ball is only her U.S. festival (not to mention New York tour date) on the books for 2015. She’s dressed fetchingly in a navy Yankees jersey dress, and seems so genuinely moved by the warm response that she’s caught smiling — with teeth! — on several occasions during set opener “Cruel World.” “It’s so amazing to be back,” she says later.”
9:23 PM: Lana Del Rey’s intoxicating voice is barely audible from the middle of the left side of her audience during her opening song, as the Black Keys’ garage rock bleeds over from the main stage. Many audience members too far away from Del Rey simply give up five minutes in, and drift toward the act they can actually hear.
9:45 The crowd is proving to be the loudest part of Lana Del Rey’s set, by a longshot. The singer’s muffled audio leaves many fans struggling to hear her moody ballads over the hard-chugging blues riffs of The Black Keys, who can be heard far more clearly from across the island. “Ultraviolence,” the haunting and hushed title track from last summer’s sophomore album, is particularly inscrutable — made all the more ironic by the fact that the Keys’ Dan Auerbach produced it.
10:25 PM: The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach shouts out to hometown Akron, OH before starting up “Your Touch.” The frontman then asked the crowd for help on the next song, and festival goers gladly obliged when the first notes of “Lonely Boy” filled the air.