10. P.O.S., "Fuck Your Stuff" Imagine a bunch of anarchist skate punks…
- Posted on Jun 25th 2012 2:27PM by Dan Reilly
Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images
We got there in time to see Phantogram perform a synth-heavy, chilled-out set for the steadily growing crowd. Cults came on next at a stage on the other side of the park, with singer Madeline Follin adorably swaying her way through their hazy-yet-powerful run of tracks from their 2011 self-titled debut.
Built to Spill followed an hour later, the first of several acts that blossomed in the '90s, and proved they still had plenty of staying power. Cage the Elephant came on immediately after, with singer Matthew Shultz announcing that this was the band's last of 2012, as they'll be heading back to the studio to work on their third album. Shultz spent a good portion of the set surfing on the crowd while rasping out their grunge-revival hits, saying that he lost his voice the night before yet still performed against their manager's advice.
Fiona Apple then took the stage for what was undeniably the highlight of Governor's Ball. The singer came out with tons of energy, flailing along to her ultra-talented backing band, and drove through a set that borrowed equally from all four of her albums. She alternated between banging on her piano to fronting the stage with a confidence she doesn't always seem to possess, jumping about with abandon and seemingly getting lost in the sound. Closing with "Criminal," Apple danced across the stage before sitting Indian style, burying her face in her legs before looking up and smiling at the huge crowd and soaking up the moment. For all the press she gets about being moody and tense, it seems we caught Apple on one of her best days.
Following Fiona was Explosions in the Sky, whose powerful instrumentals became the perfect soundtrack as the sun went down over the island. Modest Mouse were up next, pounding out song after song with the added oomph of their two drummers. Isaac Brock and co. started off with a string of their more accessible numbers, including the new song "Heart of Mine," before getting into their more banjo-heavy, weirder cuts, and finishing off with the peaceful "Missed the Boat."
Beck, the festival's final act, took the stage at 9:45, and proceeded to slay the crowd with an 18-song performance that leaned mainly on his 1995 hit-heavy Odelay, as well as his more recent hits, Guero and Modern Guilt. As the weather turned into a light drizzle, Beck pulled back on his bluesy, groove-heavy distortion and played a melancholy, poignant three-song selection from his 2002 landmark album, Sea Change: "The Golden Age," "Lost Cause" and "Sunday Sun."
Following the equally languid Odelay song "Jack-Ass," Beck ramped up his set again with a blistering take on "Devil's Haircut," which was backed up by a sing-along rendition of his first hit, "Loser." After "Novacane" and "Minus," and with the crowd firmly in his hand, he closed out the festival with the one-two punch of "Where It's At" and "E-Pro," sending off the Governor's Island attendees with ringing ears and plenty of excited energy.