Governors Ball is Stacked Again


By: Connor Lenahan

It’s that wonderful time of year yet again where the major music festivals release their annual lineups to excited potential attendees. Coachella hit a grand slam this year with their trio of headliners in Beyonce, Radiohead, and Kendrick Lamar, but there were few stellar acts aside from the top line. Well, except for Hans Zimmer, the composer of the Interstellar and most other Christopher Nolan films, who made for the single funniest/best entry in the lineup. But the Governors Ball lineup was released this morning and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t look fantastic.

Let’s start with the most disappointing omission: Frank Ocean. Blonde was fairly universal in being listed as one of the 5 to 10 best albums of 2016 and was the number one for many, including yours truly. Ocean, as nearly everyone is aware at this point, pretty much does what he wants when he wants so he may not tour behind Blonde because he doesn’t want to. This sucks because Frank is awesome, but at least he dropped the album.

But then there’s the most intriguing pairing on the top line: Chance the Rapper and Childish Gambino. The duo has been rumored to be collaborating on a project for quite some time, so seeing them share the stage would be incredible, especially given that this happened the last time they were both at Governors Ball in 2014.

Plus both of them are coming off the best albums they’ve ever released: Coloring Book and Awaken, My Love! Seeing either of them live again would be fantastic, and their time as rightful headliners has come, even if they don’t carry the same weight as a Beyonce or Kendrick Lamar yet.

This year’s lineup also caters to rap fans more than previous Governor Ball incarnations, including the Wu-Tang Clan, Wiz Khalifa, Schoolboy Q, Danny Brown, YG, Rae Sremmurd, Logic, A$AP Ferg, and let’s just mention the Wu-Tang Clan a second time. That’s as loaded a lineup as you can go without breaking the bank on Drake or Kanye West as another headliner.

Then you have one of the most interesting headliners you’ll see anywhere in 2017: Tool. The prog-rock band hasn’t released an album since 2006’s 10,000 Days and hasn’t played a show in New York City proper in 12 years. They really haven’t played many shows of any kind for roughly a decade. Three years ago I put them second on my concert bucket list behind only Frank Ocean and the announcement of one of the most reclusive bands in the country is nothing short of a huge get for Governors Ball.

I was sold on Chance and Childish Gambino alone. Tool, again, is a bucket list band. Toss in an absurd supporting cast beyond rap (Lorde! Cage The Elephant!) and Governors Ball looks to be a must-attend this year.