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Governors Ball 2014 Day 3 Review & Recap: Vampire Weekend Inspires Dancing, Interpol Debuts New Music and More

by Carolyn Menyes   Jun 9, 2014 11:29 AM EDT

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After two music-filled days in the sun, Governors Ball Music Festival continued on for Day Three on Sunday (June 8). Temperatures were rising, but so was the enthusiasm from the crowd, who didn't let soaring temperatures and a beating, cruel sun dissuade them from getting down to some of music's biggest festival acts and quite a few new, hidden gems.

Showing its diversity like it did on Day One and Day Two, Governors Ball closed out its long weekend with new music from Axwell /\ Ingrosso, Interpol, Banks and more, while crowd-pleasers Vampire Weekend and Foster The People inspired the masses to dance.

Music Times was on the scene to get down and check out all the tunes, take a peek at our minute-by-minute recap and review below!

12:15 - There's something to be said for a solid festival-opening act, and I think Cris Cab fills that need. He's a guy with a faux Jamaican accent playing reggae-tinged tunes with hooks easy enough for the most tired of festival patrons to catch on to. It's not like Governors Ball was going to have 3 Inches of Blood open Sunday afternoon, but keep doing your thing man. -Ryan Book

12:32 - Admittedly I opted for Cris Cab as our Sunday opener, but upon heading over to the Gotham Tent I regret not selecting Ben Cameron. The front man and his band, The Depressions, put the "soul" back in "country" (I wasn't a Spelling Bee guy during middle school). I only caught two songs but I'll be sure to stream something later. -RB

12:40 - Stroll into Governors Ball Day Three a tidbit late, just in time to catch Meg Myers frickin' WAILING on "Heart Heart Head." Like, damn, girl can scream. I should've hopped on an earlier subway... -Carolyn Menyes

1:15 - Today is the day for me just to catch the end of sets, I suppose. Blame end-of-festival drag. But, with sweet little harmonies and tiny splashes of guitar, Half Moon Run are bringing a bit or enthusiasm back into Governors Ball.

1:30 - There is a degree of cynicism hanging over most music that gathers critical acclaim (we're guilty as well) but Bleachers' pop rock approach is refreshingly genuine. Only one of the tracks we listened to had an outright negative attitude, and that was a cover of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers' "Don't Come Around Here No More." Any pessimism written by Tom Petty is acceptable. -RB

2:00 - A mosh pit breaks out at SKATERS afternoon set during its rousing "I Wanna Dance (But I Don't Know How)." The New York rockers are absolutely slaying the Honda Stage, with an enthusiastic crowd singing along to the majority of tracks from Manhattan, a rare sight for these earlier on sets, but such is the hometown advantage. -CM

2:15 - To contradict the performance we saw from Bleachers, Banks arrives onstage after leaving a funeral apparently. Angst is the topic of choice, and the performer wears a black dress and heels to match. No doubt a worthwhile vocal talent, but the ol' gut instinct suggested that this performance was a tad contrived. Ask us again when her debut album Goddess drops during September. -RB

2:25 - After attempting to peak or hear anything over at the Gotham Tent, I'm just saying screw it, this place is far and away the worst at Governors Ball. Out to seek some shade. It's like 84 degrees and my shoulders are really sunburnt. -CM

2:55 - Some festivals, like Bonnaroo, set up cool down stations. Governors Ball just sprays hot concertgoers with mother-licking hoses. This is New York City, kids. -CM

3:22 - Tyler, The Creator joins Earl Sweatshirt onstage because what-did-you-think-was-going-to-happen-when-Odd-Future's-two-biggest-names-were-scheduled-side-by-side-on-the-same-day. Tyler doesn't steal the spotlight during his pal's set, and Earl comes across with more emotion than he does on last year's Doris. This helps some tracks but hinders others, such as this writer's choice for the best song of 2013, "Hive." -RB

3:31 - Frank Turner gets the crowd to do jumping jacks during "Recovery," which is an amazing feat. Did I mention it's hot? (Sorry, not what you would call an "outdoors girl.") Blending together punk and country with a British attitude, Turner's set is one of the early highlights of the day, taking me back to my happy place in Appalachia, Ohio. His energy is unfounded, bringing hardcore music to a daytime festival set in an indie rock world. And the crowd is really feeling it, enough to do cardio in the blazing sun.

3:52 - "I didn't even know this existed until last week when I found I had to fly to f--kin' New York City and perform at it." This is Tyler, The Creator's summation of Governors Ball. Although many of his sets' key moments occur during bizarre stage banter—the rapper's voice is one designed for such things—his high-energy performance makes even the most politically correct viewer lose it. Earl Sweatshirt and Odd Future house DJ Jasper Dolphin apparently sprinted across the field to make it from one set to the next. -RB

4:46 - The Head and the Heart open with "Shake," and I've died and gone to heaven. The harmonies of this Seattle band are something to aspire to, all you other Pacific Northwest bands. In the beginning of a theme for Day Three, The Head and the Heart repeatedly mention how much its enjoying playing on the East Coast, throwing a little shade at some West Coast music festivals that aren't so much about the music anymore (cough, cough, Coachella).

5:30 - Every hip-hop show has significant downtime for the emcees to catch their breath. J. Cole's set gets awkward towards the end when there are lengthy pauses between songs featuring no instrumentals and no crowd banter. Earlier in the set, Cole hollers at every one of the boroughs...except Staten Island. Wu-Tang affiliates are not pleased. -RB

5:45 - It's easier to explain The Kills to people by defining it as "the guy married to Kate Moss" and "the woman who sings in The Dead Weather with Jack White." Despite having not written any new music in more than three years, the duo rocks it, trading guitar licks while a foursome of backup musicians playing double floor toms provide rhythm. -RB

6:50 - It's weird to see Mark Foster of Foster The People sing in person; his funky falsetto somehow always sounds really fixed in production, but here he is, in the flesh at Governors Ball, moving those tunes like the smooth professional that he is. Despite nearing the end of the three-day fest, the audience is really, shall I say, "Pumped Up" to see these guys, dancing and singing along with a marked peppiness at every opportunity. Of course, "Pumped Up Kicks" gets the loudest response, but earlier the new Supermodel single "Coming Of Age" got its due time, as well.

6:58 - I and my travelling companion stop to inquire of a boy (assumed to be in the boy age range) who is lying immobile on the field. My friend flags down some paramedics whose first question is "how old are you?" followed by the order "I.D." Thus the child, potentially suffering from alcohol poisoning, runs away to potentially die somewhere else. Well handled health officials! And to the fellow photographer who stopped to snap a picture of his unconscious body before walking away: Go get stomped. The good news: We run into the boy, in much better spirits, later at Axwell /\ Ingrosso's show. -RB

7:15 - James Blake is perhaps the only musician at Governors Ball this weekend that's guilty of not being loud enough. The further fans wander from the stagefront, the more outside noise interferes with the definitively quiet music of Blake. Foster The People's much louder set can be heard from across the festival grounds, and Interpol's tuning session can be heard from the back of Blake's crowd. It's a shame, as his output is beautiful to those who can hear it. -RB

7:20 - Spencer Ludwig of Capital Cities joins Foster The People on stage for a few tracks, including the best MGMT song there never was, "Helena Beat." -CM

8:14 - After playing three crowd-pleasing hits back-to-back ("Say Hello To The Angels," "Evil," "C'mere"), Interpol breaks out a little new music from its upcoming album El Pintor to close out the Big Apple Stage. The new music feels markedly familiar for the indie rock mainstays, with the band retreating back to its core sound after so-so responses to its last two albums. In total, Interpol showed off three new songs: "My Desire," "Anywhere" and "All The Rage Back Home." Besides that, the band largely stuck to its first two albums, playing only "Lights" from either Our Love to Admire or its self-titled album. -CM

8:20 - I don't know what I expected from Empire of The Sun's stage performance, but I think this is what I expected. Guitarists Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore seemingly combine Star Trek and Mexican mythology to create a live show that's totally over the top and probably the best gig we've seen so far at Governors Ball. Plenty of electronic musicians have made stops at the festival this weekend, but few felt more right than the music of Empire of The Sun. -RB 

8:55 - "F--- yeah! You guys rocked that one! That was amazing," Paul Banks remarked to an insanely enthusiatic, jumping crowd after Interpol played "Slow Hands." The Big Apple Stage at night is far and away the happiest place at all of Governors Ball, with Interpol continuing the tradition of the closing bands at that stage being really grateful to be playing to happy audiences. I've seen Interpol play two or three times before, and I've never seen these guys smile as much as they did here at GovBall. -CM

9:25 - There's simultaneously something really grating and really endearing about Vampire Weekend, who closed out the main stage at Governors Ball. Bringing its preppy sense of rock to New York, the crowd was feeling the happy, island-friendly music on an island in the summer. The band didn't just stick to its hits, though "A-Punk" obviously got the roaring-est response. Vampire Weekend whipped out "Boston (Ladies Of Cambridge)," a little known song from its early days. -CM

9:55 - The energy at Vampire Weekend is electric, with the audience skanking all over the place to "Cousins." This is nuts. -CM

10:30 - Axwell /\ Ingrosso had a lot to live up to in the special effects department, closing out the last night of Governors Ball on the same stage where Skrillex had blown up the joint the previous evening. The former Swedish House Mafia members responded by bringing literal fireworks, a barrage of flamethrowing blasts and a waterfall-sparkler effect. Axwell handles most of the stage banter, and invokes the crowd to provide a live vocal sample for the track he and his partner are playing. -RB

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