From Governors Ball 2021: Saturday Sound Bites


Day two of Governors Ball saw the North-side rapper Aminé take over the GrubHub stage. The 27-year-old rapper and his DJ beat the midday blues by playing hype songs like “BLACKJACK” and “Can’t Decide,” the latter of which smoothly transitioned over to the chorus of J. Cole’s “pride is the devil” since the two share the same guitar loop. Although not every festival-goer knew the lyrics to every song, Aminé made sure to fill in the gaps in the audience’s knowledge with interactive ad libs, such as the countdown in the pre-chorus of “Can’t Decide.” His efforts paid off, evidently, when the crowd’s energy literally shook the ground in response.

Electric alt-pop band Muna then welcomed fans from the Honda stage. Consisting of singer Katie Gavin, guitarists Josette Maskin and Naomi McPherson, and their backing bassist and drummer, Muna’s the kind of band that makes people want to be in a band. They’re so fun to watch that the desire to join them onstage is virtually irresistible. Gavin (who wore a white tank top branded with her name in bold black letters — very camp) was ever the de facto frontwoman, though the rest of the band was equally commanding on stage, their energy unmatched from start to finish. Everpresent was Muna’s distinct brand of infectious electro-pop and Gavin’s enviable cool-girl stoicism. “Nobody likes me and I’m gonna die alone in my bedroom,” Gavin sang, the massive crowd singing with her. They knew every word. And when the time came to play their latest track, “Silk Chiffon” — a song the band said was “for the gays” — the audience was greeted with a surprise appearance from track collaborator and sad girl icon Phoebe Bridgers. Bridgers, in turn, was greeted by deafening applause. But it was Muna’s undeniable stage presence that made the set truly among the most memorable of the day.

Bleachers was next, and the man of the year, Jack Antonoff, took to the GOVBALL NYC stage in Bruce Springsteen cosplay (a white cutoff tank and blue jeans) to play the band’s hits. The set began with Antonoff alone on the piano, leading the audience on before exploding into a driving, upbeat anthem. Songs like “How Dare You Want More” and “Rollercoaster” gave the set dynamic energy throughout the performance, all but begging the audience to let loose and dance and jump around with them. Antonoff himself actually did: “I’m serious, get on each other’s fucking shoulders —- this is some pre-pandemic shit!” he shouted into the crowd after calling the festival experience “all that matters.” The songs they played were undeniably poppy and fun, but it was also hard to miss that Bleachers is a musicians’ band. Each song was complemented by technically complex solos from each member of the six-piece. The best song of the set? A high-powered performance of “I Wanna Get Better.”

Wrapping up the day was King Princess with her first show in two and a half years. She welcomed her audience in typical KP fashion: “We need more pussy. We’re dying for more pussy,” she said before going into her 2018 single “Pussy is God.” The bass-heavy set took fans gathered at the BACARDÍ stage through a broad survey of King Princess’s best songs, from her most recent single, “PAIN,” to her biggest hit, “1950.” Along with the poppy, spacey tunes, the set was made by King Princess’s charisma. With each new track, she commanded the stage, connecting with the audience through her tireless dancing and constant banter. It was clear she was in her element, joking and chatting with fans from her position front and center. She shared stories about her high school years spent “blackout drunk” at the festival and, when someone threw a bra on stage, she joked, “I accept bras. I accept trinkets. I accept different types of paraphernalia.” Most notable from her already memorable set were the classic bangers “Talia,” “Cheap Queen,” and “Hit the Back,” a song she said was “made for bottoms.” The show also featured her first-ever live performance of 2018’s “Holy.” By the time the set came to a close, King Princess had taken her audience through a captivating and engaging set, with everything from light piano ballads to a raging, power chord-fueled, guitar-throwing performance of “Ohio.”


—Staff writer Sofia Andrade can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @bySofiaAndrade. Staff writer Alisa Regassa can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @alisaregassa.