This year's Governors Ball was special for many. Fans got to see some of their all time favorite performers at the same venue for the first time in years. Performing at New York’s Citi Field in 2022 was also a first for some of the artists too. Here, we break down the performances that stood out on Day Two of the three day festival.
More commonly known as NBA champion Shaquille O'Neal, DJ Diesel pumped up Gov Ball’s Verizon stage with a host of popular party mixes that had the whole crowd moving. A club remix of BeatKing’s “Then Leave” had the audience reciting the chorus in unison, followed by a bass-heavy rendition of Drowning Pool’s “Bodies.”
“Hands up New York!” Diesel instructed before starting a crowd wave. Moments later, he shouted “take off your shirts New York!” as Right Said Fred’s “I'm Too Sexy” began to blast. He capped off his set with the quintessential college alt-rock anthem — The Killers' “Mr. Brightside,” which belled across the Gov Ball stage. The crowd knew every word.
The Verizon stage welcomed Denzel Curry, decked out in black overalls and chains. He began with a synth laden cover of “13LACK 13ALLOONZ,” from his 2018 album “TA13OO.” Following a performance of “This Life” from his album Imperial, Curry teased an early end to the set, running backstage as the music cut off. He re-emerged moments later: “Did y’all think it was over?” he asked the audience. A mix of no’s and cheers filled the arena, as Curry began to perform Imperial’s introductory number “ULT.” Curry encouraged the audience to “go stupid” and form a mosh pit, and many obliged. He then switched to one of his newer tracks — the fast-paced “Sanjuro,” first released earlier this year. He continued with his 2019 hit “SPEEDBOAT,” before closing (for real this time), with “CLOUT CO13A1N.” Before exiting completely, Curry hopped off the stage and into the crowd, giving handshakes and high-fives to enraptured onlookers.
Halsey, the Saturday headliner, closed out the night with a candy-colored visual showcase that perfectly encapsulated her pop punk origins. Befitting their position as the star of the festival, they began with their 2015 hit ”Castle.” They then transitioned to the high octane "Easier Than Lying," enveloped in the stage’s piercing red lights and accompanied by a fiery pyrotechnics display. These vibes were turned on their head with “1121,” a ballad describing the stillness of post-heartbreak pain.
“The radio burnt this one the f*ck out,” Halsey warned before playing the next track, their classic pop number “Graveyard.” They went on to stun the crowd with their first ever live performance of “So Good,” before taking their audience back to ‘85 with a cover of Kate Bush’s newly viral queer anthem “Running Up That Hill.” “That was a special moment for me,” Halsey told their fans. Halsey neared the end of their set with one of their biggest hits, “Without Me,” which had the crowd singing along to just about every line. They closed out on with yet another feminist banger, “I am not a woman, I’m a god” — the perfect end to a power-packed set.
—Staff writer Derrick Ochiagha can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at @derrickochiagha.