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Governors Ball 2021 Day 3: The 5 Best Things We Saw

The final day celebrating the New York City festival's 10th anniversary

Governors Ball 2021 Day 3 Recap
Post Malone, photo by Ben Kaye
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    Day 3 of Governors Ball felt even more like a celebration than Friday and Saturday’s displays, closing out New York City’s premier music festival with infectious pop, dizzying electronic, and wild hip-hop performances.

    Although both 21 Savage and Young Thug showed up late, their short sets did nothing to sap the crowd’s excitement for Post Malone’s victory lap of a headlining performance.

    On the other hand, Duck Sauce (performing their first live set since 2014) and Jamie xx provided some of the best dance beats of the festival, while Carly Rae Jepsen, Caroline Polachek, and Ellie Goulding gave us pop performances to treasure.

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    The final day of a big festival always features a bit of wear and tear on the venue and its patrons, and yesterday was no different — as the masses left Citi Field’s parking lot at the end of the day, it was clear to see that the event was successful, albeit a little crammed. Nevertheless, Governors Ball’s pivot to Citi Field turned out to be a smart move, and made for an urban festival experience like no other.

    Here are the 5 best things we saw on Sunday, September 26th.

    Also, make sure to check out our complete recaps of Day 1 and Day 2 of Governors Ball, plus our special review of Billie Eilish’s Friday night headlining set. You can also see photos of all the performances we caught in our daily photo galleries from Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3.


    Most Passionate Set: Caroline Polachek

    Caroline Polachek at Governors Ball 2021

    Caroline Polachek, photo by Ben Kaye

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    At the start of Caroline Polachek’s set, she choked up in the middle of “Pang,” taking a moment to indulge in the happiness and relief to be back onstage performing for fans again. It was a touching and authentic moment, and as she continued through the performance with favorites from 2019’s Pang as well as this summer’s excellent “Bunny Is a Rider,” the crowd was just as enthusiastic about her return.

    Most Danceable Set: Duck Sauce

    Duck Sauce Governors Ball Day 3-1

    Duck Sauce, photo by Perry Froelich

    Taking the stage at 4:00 p.m. in the sweltering heat is not the usual move for an electronic act with club-ready mixes, but Duck Sauce did an incredible job getting us on the dancefloor. With soul-infused EDM and thumping house jams, the duo of Armand Van Helden and A-Trak (who also performed alongside Dave-1 as The Brothers Macklovitch on Saturday) gave us a set easily worth celebrating. It’s shows like these that make you even more thankful to be able to dance in a crowd again, when a year ago at this time such an activity seemed a lifetime away.

    Best Icon Moment: Carly Rae Jepsen

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    Carly Rae Jepsen at Governors Ball 2021 photo gallery

    Carly Rae Jepsen, photo by Ben Kaye

    Midway through her set, Carly Rae Jepsen captured everyone’s attention when she dropped “Call Me Maybe,” which just celebrated its 10th anniversary last week. And while her time was packed with some of the best tracks from Emotion and 2019’s Dedicated, it was that indelible hit that remained the highlight, solidifying her icon status. She approached each song with humor, character and charisma, almost like she was explicitly posing for the camera throughout the performance. It was a great example of her unique star power and her enduring command of an audience — a must-see for any future festivals you may attend.

    Most Percussive Set: Jamie xx

    Jamie xx at Governors Ball 2021

    Jamie xx, photo by Ben Kaye

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    Jamie xx’s set was highlighted by dozens upon dozens of different drum sounds, beats, combinations, and samples, treating a DJ spot with a whole new level of skill and precision. Featuring a few cuts from his 2015 landmark album In Colour, Jamie xx played a full hour of music inspired by decades of innovation, with multiple iterations of house, EDM, and skittering garage tracks as its guiding principles. It was an empty canvas at the start, and by the end, he was adding streaks of vibrant color just for the hell of it.

    Most Gracious Headliner: Post Malone

    Post Malone at Governors Ball 2021

    Post Malone, photo by Ben Kaye

    As Post Malone began his much-hyped headlining set on Sunday, he made sure to express his gratitude repeatedly. Before launching into his mega hit “Circles,” Posty told the audience that he “can’t sing without Auto-Tune” and to forgive his vocal performance as someone had “spilled beer on the computer or something” — yet, no forgiving was necessary, and he carried through his ambitious set with ease. Even with multiple beverages and flashy fireworks above him, Post Malone sounded truly terrific, solidifying his headlining prowess and giving us a Governors Ball to remember.

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