It should be apparent that Josh Ritter is one of my favorite artists as I’ve covered his shows at least five times for this site alone. So at the first chance I had to see him with The Royal City Band in 2016, at a free outdoor show in Prospect Park (where he had opened for Damien Rice last year) I leapt at it. Ritter is one of the happiest performers I’ve seen on any stage and there was no reason this show would be different.
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It’s a few years since Comedy Central had their last event at Summerstage (Stars Under the Stars), which featured then rising talent Amy Schumer. This year, Comedy Central hosted a show with talent from their flagship show The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: Ronny Chieng, Jordan Klepper, Adam Lowitt, Desi Lydic, Hasan Minhaj, Michelle Wolf, and Roy Wood Jr. on Sunday, June 26. The free event was an “extra night of work”, joked Klepper, who quickly realized the audience hadn’t paid to get in either. He was probably “disappointed” that he and co-emcee Lydic were decked out for the night—chumps fawning for a crowd. Nonetheless, Klepper and Lydic proved gracious hosts, and introduced all the performers with baby pictures of that individual.
I find it difficult to translate comedy into a review, given I’d essentially spoil some excellent punch lines, but I can mention a couple of highlights. There was Wolf’s hilarious bit where she read texts from a person she dated, including the fake idiom “chipping away at the ham”. Noah himself offered great commentary on Rihanna being strong enough to withstand the rap artists guesting on her tracks, as he deftly imitated the body motions of a singer. There were many, many other laughs earned during the nearly two hour show; the audience responded heartily to each talent, even staying after the show was over to try and meet the comedians. Photos from the event are below.
When Peter Gabriel joked that he and Sting were doing the same yoga routine on the tour, he also mentioned their bandmates couldn’t tell them apart—they were the “tantric twins”. And though they are not actually twins, their longstanding friendship allowed for them to perform a show that was more than a greatest hits presentation, it was a collaborative effort between the musicians and their respective bands. Each artist looked happy when sharing the stage or when playing the other’s songs even though Gabriel insisted the crowd decide which of the two was superior—Gabriel’s band were designated team red and Sting’s were team blue.
I only popped into Webster Hall’s Marlin Room to see A-WA (pronounced Ay-Wa and translates to “yeah” in Arabic) for a few songs but I quickly found that their colorful attire and winsome beats had gotten the crowd partying hard. It was the band’s celebration for their debut release Habib Galbi and I was lucky enough to catch a moment when the three sisters, Tair, Liron and Tagel Haim, invited a number of fans up onto the stage to dance with them. It was great fun to see them perform especially since I didn’t understand what the Israeli sisters were singing about.
If you overlooked our coverage of Governors Ball so far, you should go back and read about Day One with Beck and The Strokes and Day Two with The Killers and M83 at these links respectively. However, our festival coverage considered many bands we didn’t get chance to write about but we did have a chance to photograph. Check out some great images of a variety of bands from both days (the third having been rained out) below.