J Balvin, Megan Thee Stallion, A$AP Rocky and Bleachers were some of the acts who rocked the stage for day two of Governors Ball 2021 in New York on Saturday (Sept. 25). Other artists on the lineup included Phoebe Bridgers, King Princess, Aminé and Pink Sweat$.
According to organizers, 50,000 people attended each day of the three-day event, pointing to a hopeful return to concerts and live performances after more than a year-long hiatus as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. With mosh pits, long food lines, and packed trains back in full swing, fans were eager to get back into festival mode to connect with their favorite artists and fellow music lovers.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul echoed the sentiment when she took the stage moments before A$AP Rocky’s headlining performance.
“New York and festivals like @GovBallNYC are BACK because New Yorkers are stepping up to get vaccinated. Keep the comeback going. Get vaccinated,” Hochul tweeted Saturday night.
From J Balvin’s fiery set to Aminé playing throwback tunes, attendees were treated to a memorable return to live music. Reporting from the ground at Citi Field in Queens, Billboard has the scoop on the best moments from day two of Gov Ball 2021.
Jack Antonoff gives saxophonists the spotlight
With a set list that included crowd favorites, such as “Rollercoaster,” “I Wanna Get Better,” “Don’t Take The Money,” the fans erupted into song and dance to match Jack Antonoff’s high-energy presence as he jumped and ran from all sides of the stage during Bleachers’ set. During the show, the producer and frontman shared the spotlight with his band members, including his two saxophonists who stole the show. “The louder you scream, the harder he blows,” Antonoff yelled cheekily as he introduced the saxophone solos, which proved to be a unique twist that the fans cheered on.
King Princess performs “Holy” for first time live
During King Princess’ late afternoon slot on the Bacardi stage, the singer revealed her own nostalgic Gov Ball memories from her teenage years. “I came here every year in high school black out drunk,” she shared. The “1950” singer then proceeded to perform “Holy,” a single she’s never played on stage, “but was asked to play live,” she added. After finishing the last notes to the sensual song, King Princess continued on with, “It’s not so bad. I don’t know why I waited so long.”
Megan Thee Stallion shows love to fans, twerks onstage
“Where my hot girls at? Where my hot boys at?” Megan Thee Stallion asked the crowds during her early evening set on the main stage. The “Savage” rapper took dances from her music videos to the stage as she twerked dressed in a sequin-encrusted corset and backed by her team of dancers. From “Body” to “WAP,” fans roared with excitement each time she performed her racy choreography to accompany her singles — proving that “Hot Girl Summer” is not over yet. In between tracks, the rapper expressed her appreciation to her sea of fans who crowded the stage. “I want you to know that I appreciate y’all. I’ll always go out of my way to f— with y’all as long as you f— with me,” she added.
Aminé covers Spice Girls in best genre crossover moment
Aminé took the GrubHub stage at 6:30 p.m., and performed some tracks off his pandemic-produced album, Limbo. During his set, the rapper stopped to ask, “Do ya’ll get weed legal out here? Can I smoke real quick?” In an unexpected move, he asked his audience for a lighter before closing out his show with “Spice Girl,” off of his 2017 album, Good For You. In another surprise moment, the rapper wrapped up “Spice Girl” by playing the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” for the best pop-rap crossover moment of the day. Fans went wild as they sang every word to the Spice Girls classic.
Basically, J Balvin’s entire performance
At around 8 p.m. ET, J Balvin’s set launched with flames lining the stage and finished off with fireworks lighting up the sky. Performing “Mi Gente” and salsa dancing to”I Like It,” the Colombian star is the first Latin artist to headline the New York festival. With an audience that consisted of both Spanish speakers and non-Spanish speakers, J Balvin addressed his multilingual crowds in both Spanish and English — underscoring the international reach of Latin artists. Beyond the flashy stage set up and fireworks show, the singer revealed how proud he was to headline Gov Ball. With fans waving their Colombian flags in the air, Balvin shared, “I’m so proud to be the first Latino headlining now. This is a country full of immigrants.” He then continued on with a powerful message on empowering the immigrant community stateside.