Governors Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island: Day 2
Florence & The Machine


Day 2 of Governors Ball in New York City was one for the books. 

Ravyn Lenae’s crystalline whirlpool of falsetto and funk were a natural draw for the exodus of fans leaving Clairo’s earlier mainstage blowout. Her bubbly, groovy songs about young digital love helped turn what was initially a gentle ebb and flow into a mass of moving, loving bodies.

Saba’s knotty beats and rapid-fire rhymes reigned supreme in the dark of the American Eagle thunderdome. His words turned feet and feet churned ground and soon enough a massive mud pit yawned in the center, but nothing could slow the crowd at that point, and it was all thanks to the rapper’s surefire confidence.

Kacey’s (frankly baffling) 5 pm slot was, as expected, full to bursting before the music even began- a sea of sequins and miniature cowboy hats filled the GovBall Stage grounds well before her scheduled performance time. Her relentlessly positive set was confirmation of what millions of fans already know- that when you leave a Kacey Musgraves show, you leave it feeling lighter than air.

King Princess’s 6 pm Bacardi Stage set came as a natural follow-up to Kacey’s earlier mainstage performance- her hazy, free-floating guitar pop and androgyne cool were the perfect contrast to Kacey’s sharply drawn anthems and paisley iconography.

Vince’s threadbare beats and crowd antagonism felt especially menacing in the late-day heat, and his hard stares and harder flows whipped his fans into a frenzy that threatened to boil over.

It seemed strange at first- in a day filled with some of the biggest names in contemporary pop, where exactly did Florence’s baroque stylings fit in? Who was she here for? But then her set started, and as she sprinted across the stage like a Gothic lace hurricane and her literal legion of fans roared in exultation, one thing became clear: once a queen, always a queen.

photo by: Frances Welch