It was cloudy and I had a feeling it was going to pour. The clouds were congregating in the sky as the excitement in me was building. It was going to be three full days of music from the top acts of our time, and it was starting with rain. A friend and I hopped onto the train and off we were to Governors Ball Music Festival in New York, N.Y. The festival was schedule for three days, June 7-9.
It poured hard that first day with unforgiving rain. My boat shoes were to be my footwear for the entire 3 days and nights of this, and my raincoat was more of a fleece if anything. It was cold, and tiring. We watched the complete set of the Icelandic indie folk pop band Of Monsters and Men, a great live act that I would now recommend to anyone to see.
In the middle of indie rock band Young the Giant’s set we gave up and decided to go to some shelter. We walked over the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, took the six train to my sister's apartment and appreciated dry clothing more than ever.
The next day came with beautiful skies and warm summer temperature. Mud made navigating through what I called “the great brown Sea” almost impossible, and my boat shoes didn't help. I lost my shoes countless times, having to stop and search for them. We would get to one stage and then realize that the band we wanted to see was at the complete opposite side of the festival.
At the end of the day watching Guns ‘N’ Roses my calves and back were exhausted, but I felt a nice sense of nostalgia listening to familiar songs. Axel Rose may look like an old tomato-colored catfish but he was still able to belt out the hits.
The third day came, with the same muddy troubles as the second day, but the music was still great. Highlights were brit rock band Bloc Party, indie rock band Portugal. The man and rock band Grizzly Bear.
Through all the festivities I seriously questioned whether the money I spent was worth the trouble of trudging through these three days. I enjoyed the music, but my morale was low.
I ended up waiting in a large crowd for Kanye West to come on the stage. Tired, I just wanted to go home and sleep in my bed. West came out and opened with his new industrial hit “Black Skinhead.” I was immediately entranced by the music accompanied by crazy videos of dogs barking. His performance was powerful and energetic. West stopped in the middle to rant about his record company, discussed his album and generally pulled off a great show.
Throughout the weekend I would laugh and say, “So this is what Woodstock was like.” I think it could be said that nothing will ever reach the likes of Woodstock, but I think that music festivals are a good way to experience something similar.
Thousands of people get together and just enjoy music together. They leave their everyday lives and only think about what is happening now. I will never experience Woodstock but maybe sometimes in the summers I can get close.