Monday, June 6, 2016

Governors Ball 2016, experience and review

So, Bokolis decided to switch things up by going to this Governor's Ball that's been taking place on Randall's Island for these past few years.  Somehow, over the last two years, I've taken to going to concerts.  I used to not understand why, as Bokolis is decidedly not a people person.

It's not that Bokolis dislikes people; it's that I find them, generally, to be a waste of time or an outright disappointment.  Here's why: if I'm going to be involved in something, everything needs to be done with excellence.  This applies to work, play, study, planning, preparation, whateverthefuck else you've got.  I would tell bosses, I don't leave my house and trudge into the office to fuck off, especially when there are things to fix and riddles to solve.  Similarly, when I was captain of any team, I would tell them- and, I would save this for when I thought we were up against it- that I don't leave my house to lose.

aside- I am far more concerned with performing at a high level than I am with winning, but presenting it as such makes it virtually impossible to get the message across and, consequently, the desired effort.

Most people, being reactive, tend to leave well enough alone.  Bokolis has long-realized this, and often tell my (nominal) superiors that, in everyday situations, because I'm resigned to moving at another's pace, I'm just alright; it's those times when the rest of the world is scared shitless that I come in handy.

Now, this mentality makes Bokolis invaluable in pressure situations but, no matter whether they are superiors, equals or subordinates, it is NOT the way to play well with others.  Bokolis can, at times, suppress this, but I cannot compromise.  I just can't- my beliefs may change, but my system cannot be compromised; suffering is preferable.

Therefore, Bokolis finds people easier to deal with when they need me- not so much me, but leadership- because, in following, they stay out of my way.  What is weirder still is that I don't even like being a leader- unprovoked, I am generally utterly unwilling to impose my will upon people- it typically arises from being the least unpleasant of choices.

To compound that with even more weirdness, I am very keen to see that people have a good time while around me.  It's something Bokolis managed to pick up from my old man without him ever saying it to me.

Having gone to a few concerts with my spawn, Bokolis has gained a sense of how people react, in large numbers, both collectively and independently.  While it may seem counterintuitive, the predictability of people makes them less disappointing.  Furthering the weirdness, in the process, I also realized that I enjoy the vibe of so many happy people, even if I'm good with no interaction...even if it was 2-1 birds, which is useless to Bokolis if they are posturing rather than pursuing.

The concert-going is even more confounding to the people around Bokolis, who, knowing my ambivalence towards human contact, find it incredulous that I would go to concerts alone.  My answer is simple:  When I am inclined to interact, I am engaging enough- and my looks certainly don't hurt- that it wouldn't be a problem.

We'll leave aside that, thankfully, my spawn, to varying degrees, are more social than Bokolis.  I also encourage them to be venturing, especially since they have me as protection (I look like I could fuck you up).  But, they are not yet cool enough to like anything beyond the commercial bubble-gummer crap.  Therefore, to recoup some coolness, Bokolis descended onto Randall's Island for this (scheduled) 3-day event.

I'd done my research and consulted with others who know these bands better than I.  I'd decided that the Friday lineup was strong, Saturday weak, with Sunday falling closer to Friday.  Of course, Sunday was rained out and Saturday evening brought rain (we'll get to that).

With the benefit of hindsight, I'd've just gone to Friday, as my feet were wrecked after two days.  It worked out with the weak lineup on Saturday, because Bokolis had crap to do during the day and the Killers made the whole show- rain, sore feet and all- worth it.

Bokolis rolled up early on Friday to a pleasantly sparse crowd.  I caught The London Souls.  As you see, they look like Lenny Kravitz and the guy from Party Rock song.  They have a good sound and they sounded good live, the best curtain-jerker you could ask for.  After that, it was Black Pistol Fire, who were phenomenal.  The London Souls may have sounded cleaner, but Black Pistol Fire was both a better sound- Bokolis' favorite sound- and a better show, to the point that I was thinking it could only get worse from here.

Then there was Elle King.  Bokolis went with her over Meg Mac because...I don't know, really.  I figured Elle King's stuff was more in keeping with my expectations for acts at this event.  So, this broad shows up looking like she'd just left the bar after about 24 hours of drinking to do her set.  That red get-up she donned- and the mic stand with the cupholder- took far more effort to make than she did to look presentable.  She had the big-boy red cup, too!  I quickly grinded to find a third chubby blonde for a bizarro fuck, marry, kill.  I quickly came up with Meghan Trainor, but stalled out.  I suppose I should've come up with Adele, but neither are on Adele's level and it's too easy to say "marry" to Adele for her money.

Bokolis walked out on Elle- I just got tired of her- and milled around, eventually finding Meg Mac.  I heard one song, thought ah, whatever and bounced.  The next act was Bully.  They sounded better than I thought they would and the lead singer has the scream down.  It works proper.  They come off as punk, with a sprinkle of Green Day, or whatever else that bird listened to growing up.

The thing Bokolis picked up on is how shy the lead singer seems.  She could not face the crowd when speaking, instead looking down at and twiddling with her guitar. This, of course, is incongruous with the screams.  This is a pretty blonde girl who, except maybe for the hair, doesn't seem interested in dressing up or cultivating any sex appeal, preferring instead to play Cobain.  Anyway, except for the excessive shyness, it played...well.

Bokolis largely skipped the next batch of performers.  I took in a bit of Christine and the Queens and was almost mesmerized by her weirdness.  I then snapped out of it and figuratively ran for dear life.  This brought me to Action Bronson, which gave me my first sense of how big the crowd was going to get.

Bokolis swore this muthafucka, fat as he is, was going to have a heart attack on stage and die.  He didn't, though.  He paced himself, brought out a couple of other guys to rap a few bars, and passed up the whole watermelon passed to him.  I expected him to Gronk it, but he eventually did a Highland Games toss over the shoulder.  Oh yeah, his flow is good, DJ is better and the show was decent, if predictably sloppy.

At this point, Bokolis needed to get off my feet, so I went and found a perfect view on the berm for Of Monsters and Men and made sure to remember to hit the same spot for Beck.  In both cases, it was the perfect way to watch them.  I was surprised at how many bullets Beck had in his gun...varied, too.  In between, I caught Father John Misty, that is, I caught him when he eventually came on.  He was the first act to blow the timeline, which was adhered to by all previous acts.  While Bokolis gets the whole Jesus-as-pornstar act, it seemed he would play better at a dedicated show, or at least one more in line with his tempo, which seemed too slow for this day.

Bloc Party performed to twilight and increasingly comfortable climes.  It proved to be the most fun time of Friday and the lead singer looks like a cool bloke to hang with.

The Friday headliners were The Strokes, a massive band who need no intro from Bokolis.  Having been at it so long, however, they are often bored out of their minds and, being a crew of New Yorkers, aren't interested in disguising it.  Friday night was no exception, as they went on a full 25 minutes late.  But, even bored, they are a cut above any other band, methodically grinding out the crispest music of the night.

Oh yeah...Kim of Matt and Kim...mileage, but borderline smashable.  Bokolis swears I was once chatted up by this bird in Williamsburg, but I can't substantiate it. No matter- if you've been chatted up by 1(0)((0)) tatted up brunette(s) in Billyburg, you've been chatted up by all of them.


Saturday, Bokolis had the aforementioned shit to do, and didn't show up until about the time Lord Huron was up.  I might have liked to have caught Albert Hammond Jr., Jr., and even seeing whether the bird from Misterwives was worth a fingerbang but, in both cases, missing out was probably for the best.

Bokolis got there hungry and parched, so I got myself together and was ready in time for De La Soul.  This took me back to my youth, so I was in a happy place- and strategic spot- for the show.  They paced themselves as well.  The show wasn't great- Bokolis never likes how the rappers make the crowd work- but it was a great time.

Next up was haim- I suppose they style themselves in all caps, but they get none from Bokolis...a link is plenty.  I figured these birds were now too big to pass up.  My prime spot on the berm was occupied by some chubby Asian bird.  This displeased Bokolis.  Once I heard this act, it displeased me even more, triggering an Act of Bokolis.  It poured during their whole set...nyeh!

Bokolis entered the tent a bit before Purity Ring was set to go on.  It already was very crowded in there, and became a human crush- possibly serendipitous in winning some fans for the act- when the rain returned.  I maneuvered myself so that I was around people palatable to be stuck with, and proceeded to bond with them.  I eventually tired of human contact and escaped back into the pouring rain, taking relative shelter under a tree.

The rain stopped soon thereafter, just in time for The Killers' set.  Whoa! Does this son of a bitch ever have the birds melting.  If he told them to <do unmentionable things to themselves or each other> they'd gladly do it.  Bokolis concedes that the lead singer is almost as good-looking as I am, but a far, far better showman.  In the end- talk about masses of people being happy- their show was itself worth the price of admission.

It turned out to be the end, too.  The place was in bad wasn't bad where it had been sodded, but where there was firm ground was a muddy mess.  The organizers threatened a delay and/or cancellation in a midnight e-mail.  The morning brought a delay, which conditioned Bokolis for an outright cancellation.

Sure enough, it started to rain late in the morning, a flash half-hour downpour, which led to the cancellation e-mail shortly after noon.  While the organizers may have been a little quick in pulling the plug, it turned out to be the correct move.  It didn't rain through the whole afternoon but right about the time announced special guest Prophets of Rage would have been performing in the tent, more heavy rains arrived.  The crush that would've occurred in that scenario would've likely turned things ugly.

Truth be told, Bokolis was out of it on Sunday- can't talk about what happened after I left the concert- and was happy to get a Sunday of rest.  Two days was enough for me...Kuntye not going on was just desserts for all.