After spending the last two years at Delaware’s Firefly Festival, we decided to play closer to home this year and try out the quickly growing Governor’s Ball on Randall’s Island in NYC. Once our friends at the Infatuation announced that they were curating this year’s food “playlist”, it was a no brainer. So which food and bands were the best?
Streets of Laredo
The funky folk fanfare of Streets of Laredo opened up the day. They had a nice early afternoon sunny feel that got the day started well. That they had some band members playing instruments like toy keyboards and recorders was also cool.
So many weird things going on in this picture. And this was early in the day.
Fried Chicken Sandwich from the Jeepney
The Jeepney itself, a Filipino buggy van that sits outside the restaurant didn’t make it, but the awesome food did. By Sunday, they were using slider rolls, which worked out well as it allowed sampling of some of the different sauces they had. The banana ketchup had some spice and was on fire! I love me a tasty toasty bun and they did not disappoint. Suns out, buns out.
The Burger from American Cut
What’s more American than a juicy, cheesy burger, the Statue of Liberty, and a band from Sydney? While we sampled this new contender for best burger in the city, the DMAs played at the nearby stage. I liked their Green Day meets the Killers vibe. It was a great compliment to the beer cheese running down my chin.
Free Slurpie from Seven Eleven
They may have had four taps, but every Lund knows there is only one choice am man can make. Cherry Coke. Best of all, free if you were willing to interact with the overly excited staff. Maybe they had brain freeze. The refreshing temp did help us feel like one of the Cool Kids…
See what I did there? The slurpie brain freeze also helped take our minds of the fact that Echosmith really only has one popular song. But that’s ok. When they finally got to it, they owned it!
Lobster Roll from Luke’s Lobster
Why did Michelangelo order a crab roll and not a lobster roll? Because he wanted his seafood Shredder-red. Don’t stop me now, I’m on a roll! I have a million of ‘em.
But for real, this Lobster roll was the real deal. I’ve only had a few of these bad boys and while I really liked the flavors of the roll at Lobster Joint, I think I preferred the simplicity of the pure claw meat in this guy. On a plain slice of bread with very light butter, it was perfection. I will be following the Nauti-mobile around town for the rest of the summer now. It was so good it almost made me forget about seeing a trashed flower child puke and fall asleep right next to the van. It was even better seafood than some Sturgill.
Ok that was terrible, I swear it was a fluke. Or a red herring. Ok no more fish jokes, I’ve haddock. Any-who, Sturgill Simpson was this year’s token Country music invitee. His first couple of songs were nice and high powered, though compared to my normal country tunes, had a decided lack of the mention of ice cold beer. After enjoying one of said libations, and cooking in the sun, I took the opportunity to inspect the inside of my eyelids for a bit. When I awoke I was greeted by this.
Ice Cream Sandwich from Davey’s Ice Cream
Beside the Ramen Burger which every millennial needed to try, Davey’s had the second longest line all day. From this picture, you can probably tell why. The “sandwich” is a scoop of high quality ice cream between two baked cookies. It was a pain to eat, but so worth the sugar rush. It was like a Champagne Supernova in my mouth.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Noel and Liam were two brothers. Noel and Liam loved their mother. Noel and Liam did not agree on the artistic vision of their band Oasis and after several disagreements, decided to split into two bands. Noel apparently retained the rights to the Oasis hits. Champagne Supernova and Don’t Look Back in Anger were the top of his set for sure though our singing along did result in some dirty looks. He didn’t play Wonderwall though, so I give it a C. I mean come on. Today was gonna be the day, but Noel decided he was too good for their best song.
The Black Keys
Headlining and wrapping up the festival were Akron Ohio’s own Black Keys. They had another gig though so Elvis Costello and the slighly less creepy brother from It’s Always Sunny stepped in instead. Just kidding! It was a joke because that’s who they look like. I only got one good picture without a selfie stick ruining it. Seriously, look at my google Photos album. “Ok Google, find pictures of the Black Keys without a selfie stick in it.” “Sorry I can’t do that.”
They kicked off with a few hits, then moved into their newest album and some songs where I think each person did a “jam” for five minutes so the other could go take a break. In retrospect, it would have been a good time to get another beer. After 45 minutes, they went back into the classics like Howling for You and Lonely Boy. By this time the crowd had thinned a bit, it was a school night after all, so I did feel like a Lonely Boy. At this point I realized that bands like the Black Keys and Foster the People who are primarily mumbling are not the best for singing along to at a concert. I later learned the lyrics are “I’ve got a love that keeps me waiting” not “I’ve got blood that’s full of bacon”. I figured that was why he was lonely.
Nope! Apparently bands aren’t allowed to do encores at music festivals. Even the last performance of the night. This led to some awkward standing around in the dark before the fireworks started.
If you go, do not take the shuttle or the overly packed drunk ferry. Park or take the train to friendly Harlem and the 103rd street footbridge and through the park on the island. It was perfectly safe with dozens of teens in fluorescent shirts lighting the way. And unlike Firefly, people here walk fast, so we didn’t get stuck at all. The Black Keys stopped singing at 10:45 and we were home at 12:00.
By the way, the best act of the night by far was Weird Al. He still brings it with multiple wardrobe changes. I don’t know how he can remember the words to like 50 of his songs let alone rapidly transition between each. He was awesome the first time I saw him when I was a teenager, and he remains awesome on the eve of my 30th birthday.