Roddy Watson and the Business – Big Apple Stage, 2:15pm
As the smoke filled the air over Randalls Island, J. Roddy Walston and the Business took the stage. The Virginia based Rock band reminded me a bit of a combination of rising act PAPA with vocal styling of Robert Plant and instrumental remnants of UK based band Arctic Monkeys – except different. Their style was entirely unique to their own.
Watching the group made me look forward to the idea of a future album titled “When J. Roddy Walston and the Business Cut Their Hair”. Front man, J. Roddy Walston, is a wonderful vocalist and an equally exceptional pianist. “The Business” was made up of a guitarist, bass player and drummer – the standard “4-piece Rock Band”. My favorite song that they played is titled “Marigold” which featured J. Roddy on keys. Hoping to see them return in 2016.
Marina and the Diamonds – Gov Ball NYC Stage (Main Stage), 3:00pm
Futuristic indie pop for lack of a better word, is how I’d describe the next band I saw. I have only heard a handful of artists that can compare to the sound created by Marina and the Diamonds. Despite the quicksand that separated the festival goers and the main stage… Marina drew the biggest crowds of the afternoon.
Marina plays with a backing track that allows certain harmonies to be achieved while being the only main vocalist. However, she certainly does not need this support. In fact, during the set, there were technical difficulties that forced her to sing “acapella” which allowed her to demonstarte her full abilities as a singer.
I was only able to watch half of their set but, I was able to notice something interesting while walking away from the stage. Marina and the Diamonds had nearly every individual surrounding the stage on their feet, dancing. Not simply standing at attention or swaying to the beat but, dancing. Young and old, fans and bystanders a like. They are certainly an act worth taking an opportunity to experience the next chance I get!
Angus and Julia Stone – Honda Stage, 4:45pm
The power couple, Angus and Julia Stone, have always been a treat. Their soulfully seductive sound matched with romanticized vocal stylings left the audience in awe with blank stares of amusement. Either that, or I was the only person doing this (in which case, I apologize to those in my surrounding area who were worried about me during this hour long set).
Angus and Julia Stone were the highlight of the afternoon for me. This is due in part to each individual musician on the stage having the ability to switch between instruments sometimes even during songs with relative ease. During one of their songs, Julia showcased her trumpet playing ability right before continuing playing guitar and singing lead vocals.
With as much stage and festival experience as Angus and Julia Stone have, it was not a surprise that they were able to perform at such an overwhelming level of professionalism. They will remain to my personal most anticipated performance of Governors Ball if ever they are announced for futures dates.
Conor Oberst – Honda Stage, 7:00pm
Very little introduction needs to be made for Conor Oberst. Made popular due in part to creating Emo/Alternative indie rock band Bright Eyes, Oberst continues the emotionally driven song writing with solo performances. On stage with him is his band, made up of a number of musicians including a horn section consisting of a trumpet, trombone and tenor saxophone. The band also includes Bright Eyes member Nate Walcott on keys and back-up trumpet.
The set consisted of a high number of Bright Eyes tracks which was wonderful seeing as a majority of my high school era was spent listening to the band. However, I wonder if Oberst has considered putting the old tracks on the back burner and focusing more on developing on the solo project.
~ Stay tuned for Day 3 recap!
Day 2, Saturday Schedule – June 6th, 2015