Governors Ball 2017: 5 Acts I’m Looking Forward to Seeing
1. Cage The Elephant
I saw this Bowling Green, Kentucky group in Central Park last spring, and I wasn’t surprised they put on a fantastic show. Frontman Matt Shultz sings with a great amount of energy and is the only performer I’ve seen live to pull off a successful stage dive -- twice! Their latest album, Tell Me I’m Pretty, was named Best Rock Album at this year’s Grammy Awards, and their third studio album, Melophobia, is their most ambitious to date, and, according to many contemporary music critics, their best. All in all, Cage the Elephant has evolved tremendously over their colorful 10-year career, and they have the ability to hype up the audience in any setting.
Song to listen to: “In One Ear”
2. Car Seat Headrest
Initially a solo recording project by frontman Will Toledo, this indie rock band seemed to break out commercially after they released Teens of Denial back in May. Rolling Stone ranked Teens of Denial at #4 on its 50 Best Albums of 2016, and after one listen, it’s easy to see why. Car Seat Headrest are not flashy by any means, but their work certainly has the potential to be considered “anthemic” for many years to come. With a combination of enjoyable melodies and musical arrangements that seem to be purposely unpolished, I would not be surprised if this group makes its way to the top of the indie rock world.
Song to listen to: “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales”
3. Childish Gambino
Donald Glover has been quite busy over the past year. His television show, Atlanta, won a Golden Globe for Best Music or Comedy TV Series, and he himself won Best Actor in a Comedy Series for the same show. As a recording artist, Glover released his third studio album, “Awaken, My Love!”, which was, compared to his previous two albums, a real left turn. On this record, Glover deserts rap for a daring coalescence of funk, R&B, and soul, and while it may have been unexpected, I find it his most entertaining album to date. He is definitely one of the most anticipated acts in the entire Governors Ball lineup, and I can’t wait to see him work his magic on stage. What more could you want from him?
Song to listen to: “Redbone”
4. Mark Ronson vs. Kevin Parker
I am including this act on here not only because I love what Kevin Parker has done with Tame Impala over the years, but because the act itself is a big question mark. He collaborated with Mark Ronson for a few songs on Ronson’s Uptown Special, but other than that, I don’t know what to expect when they take the stage. Perhaps they together will bust out a few Tame Impala tracks, or maybe Ronson will bring out a guest, I just don’t know. Regardless, the critically acclaimed producer and the Australian frontman are bound to put on a unique performance. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
Song to listen to: “Daffodils”
5. Royal Blood
This English duo opened for the Foo Fighters when they were on their Sonic Highways World Tour, and although there are only two of them, a bassist and a drummer, they create an enormous sound. When you listen to them, you think you hear a guitar, but what you’re really hearing is a bass with several effects and a lot of distortion. Combine that heaviness with drummer Ben Thatcher’s hard-hitting grooves, and you have a duo that sounds like a fusion of Muse and The White Stripes.
Song to listen to: “Out Of The Black”
Although there is so much talent to look forward to at the Governor’s Ball, I am anticipating that these five acts will provide outstanding performances.