From Governors Ball 2018: Sunday Sound Bites

Khalid took to the Governors Ball Gov Ball NYC stage on Sunday, June 3. He entered against the words “American Teen” (referencing Khalid’s 2017 album of the same name) displayed in tandem with black and white cartoon images of himself flashing atop different multicolored, vaporwave-esque backgrounds. The rapper was outfitted in a white windbreaker and a red t-shirt bearing the words “Kids of Immigrants.” Flanked by dancers wearing glow-in-the-dark costumes, Khalid often danced in tandem with them as the night went on. He performed with a rapturous smile as he jumped around the stage. Khalid’s smooth, soulful voice enveloped his adoring fans. During his performance of his debut 2016 song “Location,” Khalid’s audience joined in as he crooned richly into the microphone. The crowd erupted during his 2017 single “Young Dumb & Broke” as Khalid and his dancers moved to the song’s slow, steady beat. Next, during Khalid’s “Angels,” strong, emotional piano notes ran over the crowd, again with much of the crowd joining in singing the soulful ballad. Performing with strength and fever, the richness of Khalid’s voice entranced his crowd and created a soothing yet energized tone as his set progressed, and Khalid left his crowd content.

24-year-old Chicago native rapper, singer and songwriter Vic Mensa performed on the Governors Ball’s American Eagle Stage. Mensa’s crowd was excited and restless before his appearance, and he took to the stage to cheers and chants from the audience. One of the first songs performed by the artist was “Liquor Locker”off of the 2016 EP “There’s Alot Going On,” energizing the crowd early on. Mensa gave a skilled performance, punctuating his words with a forceful conviction. He kept in line with the theme of politics, voicing his staunch opposition to police brutality in a long speech before performing “16 Shots,” also off of “There’s Alot Going On,” which deals with police shootings and the murder of Laquan McDonald. He dedicated the song to victims such as Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray, and the rapper’s devotion and passion for the subject was evident in his words and intensity as he gave a compelling performance, immersed in his content.

Kali Uchis performed at the Governors Ball’s American Eagle stage to the thunderous cheers of ardent fans. Donning a holographic metallic two-piece costume and long gloves, the 24-year-old Colombian-American singer entered as a lone drummer slowly played to her 2015 track “Speed,” off of her debut EP “Por Vida.” Uchis performed the wistful song while white flashing lights illuminated Uchis brilliantly and reflected off of her bright ensemble. She next launched into “Nuestro Planeta” off of her 2018 debut album “Isolation,” and spun and danced sensuously during the uptempo, somewhat-somber track. Throughout the performance, the singer sustained long, high notes with particular aptitude, and miraculously seemed to exert little energy while singing difficult melodies. She gave a jazzy performance of “Loner” from “Isolation,” holding long notes with strength before confiding to the audience that it was her first time performing songs off of her new album. She then performed “Just A Stranger,” with dark blue lights illuminating the background, and a sped-up rentition of of her emotional track off of her debut entitled “Dead to Me.” Kali Uchis’ performance of her groovy track “After the Storm” set a relaxed tone as the engrossed audience swayed back and forth, and the artist had a calm, yet rousing performance. Uchis’ delivery of her poignant content was moving at Governors Ball as she truly seemed immersed in her music.

23-year-old hip-hop artist Lil Uzi Vert performed a fun, high energy set on the final day of the Governors Ball music festival, but peculiarly refrained from performing many of his own songs, surprising dedicated fans. His audience had begun to flood the area long before Lil Uzi Vert appeared, and hundreds of eager waiting fans chanted “hey!” over and over again before finally, the rapper’s entrance was augmented by dramatic dark red lighting. Poor sound from speakers in the back made Lil Uzi Vert’s words more muffled and distorted as he performed, but his high energy was palpable as we danced around the stage and rapped with gusto. Dramatic orange lighting flashed overhead during his performance of Travis Scott’s “Goosebumps,” during which the crowd went wild and sang along to the popular track along with Lil Uzi Vert. He quickly thereafter launched into another track of the same time period, Travis Scott’s “Antidote” off of the 2015 album “Rodeo.” Lil Uzi Vert’s performance of his 2016 “Do What I Want” struck a chord with the audience as he yelled the song’s chorus over and over again, growing steadily more energetic with each repetition of the phrase, “now I do what I want.” The audience yelled this back to him, remaining animating throughout the song’s entirety. Lil Uzi Vert put on a clean performance, and played classic songs to the absolute delight of his audience as he jumped around the stage for the entirety of his set.

—Staff writer Ajibabi O. Oloko can be reached at



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