Being painfully tired is (in general) a feeling that's normally unwelcome and a state of being that I try to avoid at all costs. There are only two exceptions to this preference - the day after an intense workout and the day after an intensely jam packed experience.
I almost crave the feeling of soreness that comes after an intense session of taking up my workout routine up a notch. It's a pain and tiredness that reminds me that I've made progress and that my body will soon be stronger than it was before.
And while a music festival isn't categorized with a session at the gym, it might as well be. Hours of standing in the sun, running around, standing without rest, and burning lots of calories is all part of the music festival experience. It's why you'll always find festival goers prepare themselves like they're going on a hiking trip: fanny packs, Camelbaks, bandanas, and more.
So while I'm sitting here on a bench in Madison Square Park half dazed, regretting I wore heels, and extremely sore... I'm feeling pretty okay about the tiredness that's resting on my shoulders and the soreness that's wedged its way into every crevasse of muscle fibers.
Let me tell you about yesterday.
On Thursday evening, Esther and I agreed to meet each other past noon the next day. So I spent the morning working remotely from Mountain Province, a little coffee shop near my apartment. I needed coffee and was craving their popular egg sandwich.
The fun part of getting my coffee for stay is that Mountain Province likes to serve some of their drinks in bowls. It makes you feel like you're being nourished with a healthy soup, but you're actually just chugging a ton of caffeine.
First Moments at Gov Ball
Governor's Ball (a.k.a. Gov Ball) has very much become a staple in the New York City music festival scene. It was started in 2011 by Founders Entertainment which also produces The Meadows Music & Arts Festival.
What did I expect from Gov Ball? You know, I'm not sure. I had never been to any American music festival! Not even the notorious Coachella. The pricing of tickets and my dislike of large annoying crowds always kept me from going. Why did I end up going this time around, in my mid twenties? One, I don't feel guilty spending my own earned salary for myself. Two, I've been so plugged into music these days that the lineup for Friday really drew me in.
My first moments and impression of Gov Ball was a bit cringeworthy, hahaha. Everything was set up precisely for photos, well-branded, and colorful. Crawling with mostly young white teens and college students with glitter and fake gems printed on their overly tanned cheeks. The hordes of people smoking vape and weed ran to the attractions like bees to flowers - ready to populate their social media feeds.
And well, I was one of them. Minus the white young college student part.
Randall's Island has a beautiful view of the city and although laced with an occasional rainy cloud, was a great place for the festival.
Breaks In Between
In between seeing Kehlani and Lorde, Esther and I enjoyed food, drinks, and mini golfing. Well, Esther was hilariously excited to mini golf. She'd seen a photo or message from a friend about an old mini golfing course located in her hometown. I guess it made her nostalgic! Her excitement rubbed off on me, and I was victorious in my buzzed state of strategic swinging. Sorry, Esther.
Who were my favorites?
The three musicians I wanted to see were Kehlani, Lorde, and Chance the Rapper. This was the order of the lineup schedule, but also happened to be the order in which I listen to their music (greatest to least).
I've been listening to Kehlani more than Lorde and Chance combined. She brings the fresh sound that I love and would place in the same vein as Tamia, Erykah Badu, and Lauryn Hill. Think Ariana Grande taking on the next wave from Mariah.
Lorde surprised me. Or should I say, delighted me. This is because I've always liked Lorde, but wouldn't have ever said she was a favorite of mine off the top of my head. She had a wonderful aura and gentle yet charismatic stage presence that I was not expecting. I think I didn't know I would feel as connected to her live performance as I did.
And what about Chance? The man is a gifted performer who knows how to entertain a crowd in a very natural and seemingly effortless way. The crowd (warning: millennial speak) was lit. I mean really lit. Lit with cigarettes, lit with energy, and lit with die hard fans.
My personal connection to the set was probably a little less than other people because I never really got hooked on his music at the level other people have. This didn't change the fact though that he's definitely worthy of all the accolades and love he's earned. Plus, he's cute. I mean, everyone was swooning at every word he'd say.
I took a few short videos for the performances, so no shots here really. P.S. Ty Dolla $ign was a guest on Chance's stage and has a beautiful singing voice.
Evening Summer Magic
The best thing about Gov Ball though had nothing to do with the festival at all. This first week of June is really gifting New York the beautiful weather it hasn't seen since last summer. As someone who never really grew up with seasons, great weather is something I always took for granted.
Good weather in New York City is really pure magic. Where you're saying, "It's so nice!" literally every five minutes.
I was telling Esther all day yesterday that I have a simple assumption about people - we think very similarly and feel similarly about more things than we'd like to admit. Meaning, we're actually not as clever or incredibly unique as we think we may be at times.
I felt the last hour of the sun setting kicked off Gov Ball with all the good vibes it needed to have for all the goers. Especially those who bought the three day pass.
Would I go again next year? Probably. It really depends on who's in the lineup and I'd still most likely pick a single day to go and not more than that.
A note: A lot of unpleasant things happened as well at the festival that I sort of expected from the type of crowds that go to something like this. I shared some of them on a short story image for Instagram, concluding the Gov Ball snapshots. It read something like this:
"Other real thoughts on millennial music festival experience (so no one assumes my life is unrealistically perfect from these snapshots):
- People smoked too much.
- Yup, the generation after millennials is pretty bad too.
- I got puked on by a complete stranger.
- Don't do drugs irresponsibly, please. (Better if you don't do it at all)
- A big man stepped on my foot.
- I stepped on some other woman's foot.
- People littered everywhere.
- 80% of the crowd seemed to not be there to genuinely enjoy the music.
- ... but I'd guess I go again!"
A friend of mine replied to my last snapshot outlining the unpleasant things: "We aren't true millennials without a true outdoor concert experience and a little bit of puke! :p looks fun!"
To which I say - I N D E E D.