Oh, poor Avett Brothers. As part of the counterprogamming scheme at New York’s Governors Ball festival, Sunday night’s schedule pitted the worthy North Carolina folk act against one of the most interesting, talked-about people making music right now: self-declared god Kanye West, whose sixth album Yeezus hits streets June 18.
And while we’re sure the A-Bros put on a great show for however many fans showed up for their set, the night clearly belonged to West, who drew a small nation of people to his festival-ending show at the event’s main stage.
In a way, it was just an afterparty for him. The future father celebrated his 36th birthday sans Kim Kardashian* Saturday night at a party in Manhattan’s West Village, where buddy Jay-Z, buddy-in-law Beyoncé, and fellow Gov Ball performer Nas were all on the guest list. (This might explain why Nas ended his headlining set early that night?) But despite the audience’s attempts to wish him a happy birthday, Kanye didn’t exactly look like he was in the mood for revelry when he took the stage at around 9:50 pm, twenty minutes behind schedule.
Flanked by a pair of jumbotrons flashing vidoes of barking dogs and Adbusters-y imagery, ‘Ye opened his set with the established Yeezus cuts “Black Skinhead” and “New Slaves” — in other words, the same thing you saw on his recent Saturday Night Live outing. While both songs were on the aggressive side, so far “New Slaves” seems to be the more enjoyable (or at least approachable) of the two. Take a look at both performances from the festival in the videos below: