Governors Ball began its 10th anniversary edition on Friday (9/24), taking place in a new location: the parking lot of Citi Field in Queens. With a backdrop that included the stadium on one end and the 7 train on the other, it was a cool environment for a music festival, and the parking lot made it so the previous day's rain didn't mean a mudfest. It had four stages (plus one smaller "Bud Light Seltzer Sessions" stage for additional stripped-down performances), and things were more tightly knit than they usually are at Randall's Island, so getting around was easier than usual. (Getting there also didn't mean walking across a lengthy bridge.)
The headliner of day one was Billie Eilish, playing her first NYC show since releasing her hugely anticipated sophomore Happier Than Ever, and one of her first shows in general since its release. Backed by a band and lit-up, solid-color screens, Billie ran through a 20+ song set that was split pretty evenly between her two albums (plus a few other songs), and the new material already felt as instant-classic as her more established fan faves. Recently released songs like "NDA," "Lost Cause," "My Future," and "Happier Than Ever" had the crowd in the palms of Billie's hands. As a performer, Billie was bursting with all of the energy and confidence that you need to command a massive festival crowd (or the arena crowds she'll be playing to in 2022), and she still does it all without seeming like a "pop star." She's gotten to where she is by breaking the rules of pop, not by following them, and that came across on stage too.