Gus Dapperton @ Governors Ball (festival review by Laura T.)

My second day at Governor’s Ball in NYC started with indie artist Gus Dapperton. Performing in his home state, he walked out with his band with a shallow hollow body electric. Immediately phones popped up through the crowd. I was surprised how many phones were recording for such an early set, perhaps alluding to his massive internet success found in Prune You Talk Funny. His guitarist pointed at a spot in the crowd where people were dancing and smiled as they started their set with Bluebird, a waltz with a surf-y guitar and synths. 


Even though the crowd was mostly stagnant, with some slight sways or head bobs, the stage was dancing and animated. His keyboardist danced and swayed the whole set, while Dapperton had a host of different dance steps he rotated through. He two-stepped, sashayed, and fake stumbled his way through the set. The crowd was almost sedated, with calm faces and smiles across the whole crowd. Dapperton played his breakthrough hit, Prune You Talk Funny, fourth in the set. I hadn’t heard the song in a while, even though it was a song I often listened to in high school. This live performance included an absolutely rediculous dum break down which amped up the crowd significantly. 


It was then that I had realized that the calm feeling that washed the crowd was nostalgia for the bedroom pop era of our lives, high school for me, but for the surprisingly young crowd of Gov Ball it could have been middle school or even younger. The song was followed by My Favorite Fish, a ballad with a huge build up, and Palms. Palms was introduced with a metronome that sped up until it hit the tempo of the song–-commanding my piquing heart beat and interest– -matching the build of the previoous song. 


Dapperton finished his set, but then quickly came back for a two song encore. Finishing with two songs off of his most recent album Orca, as graphics matching the album art flashed on the screen and in front of the keyboardist while they performed the hit Post Humourous and the crowd broke into contained, small, dances. All in all, a solid performance from an artist who was able to take me back in musical-taste-time while still keeping me engaged with newer music.


Review and Photo by Laura T.

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