A Triumph for NYC Bands at Governors Ball
Here's the thing about hometown talent: they are without a doubt the happiest act on the festival bill. Governors Ball boasted an especially close connection to its major talent with the 2014 class, and from the headliners down to the indie breakthroughs, they were all so, so happy to be there--and their fans were even happier to see them on their own turf.
Photos Laura June Kirsch Bands from the Big Apple repped hard at Gov Ball
Though the majority of Governors Ball's 67 acts can claim they've cut their teeth on the well-worn rock club stages of New York City, few have turned it into a musical destination, a scene that churns work ethic and the right hooks into infamous reputation and inspirational anthems. The Strokes and Interpol both played a heavy hand in defining the renaissance of New York indie, and their sets--reunions of sorts banking on nostalgia without overdoing it--made for a satisfying return to their hits while acknowledging them in a 2014 framework.
It's crazy to think of The Strokes and Interpol as legacy acts at this point, especially considering how the peak of their popularity hit within the past decade and naysayers loathe the repetition and debate lack of variety in their respective catalogs. The steady hum and build of an Interpol riff is identifiable within the first few seconds of hearing it, yet knowing the name of any given Interpol song is a challenge in and of itself; the same goes for the straightforward delivery and drum gallops of The Strokes. Thankfully, a stretch of new material and the promise of future records kept either set from feeling stale.
Despite their polarizing nature and relatively new return to the festival circuit, the crowds present for both sets were full of people screaming choruses back to Paul Banks and Julian Casablancas as though they'd been waiting a decade to do that at a major production like Governors Ball. (That, and we got to watch Julian Casablancas belt his way through "Last Night" while wearing a Hawaiian shirt, which is something a fan who frequented Lit Lounge probably would've freaked out over circa 2003.)