Chapel Rowan is the biggest story of the Gov Ball

For those who follow the summer festival circuit, it was clear that Chapelle Ruan was the rising star of the summer. Her first performance at the festivalGood luck, babe“At Coachella he got rave reviews in April; in May, Boston Calling’s midday set drew a crowd of more than 40,000 people. Their headline shows have been moved to larger venues to accommodate the ‘massive demand.'” That crazy hype was reflected at the Governors Ball festival to music in New York City on Sunday as soon as attendees were seen streaming out of the train: many of them were wearing pink cowboy hats, a nod to the “Pink Pony Club” cowgirl theme that Rowan is promoting on Trip. The singer hasn’t released any dress codes for the festival’s special set With it, but they still came, dressed to impress just one artist on a day when the lineup included more than 20 give me your tired, poor, huddled fans yearning to dance freely…

Rowan emerged, to great fanfare, from a giant apple tree dressed in drag as the “biggest queen ever,” the Statue of Liberty. By 4:45 p.m., the anticipation was already palpable, and the energy of the crowd was unlike any other show of the three-day event. Friends and supporters crowded the sides of the stage while thousands in the raucous audience surged forward. I started the collection with a distinct flair, starting with The Rise and Fall of a Midwestern Princess Opener “Femininomenon” and transition to local favorite “Naked In Manhattan”. Later, she debuted a previously unheard song that would also resonate with New York audiences, “Subway,” whose chorus was reminiscent of early 2000s pop by Michelle Branch. “It’s just another day / And it ain’t over till it’s over / It’s never over,” she sang, once again showing off her powerful vocals. “Yes, I’m still counting down all the days until you’re just another girl on the subway.”

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There were so many great, fun, exciting and powerful performances throughout the Gov Ball this weekend. But none of them offer the exact combination of qualities that make Rowan an undeniable star. She understands performance performance, leaning into a “Chappelle Rowan” persona and dressing in her band’s attire, engaging the audience with moments of audience participation. (No one on this show will ever forget doing the “Hot To Go” dance with thousands of other fans.) That’s in addition to her primary talent as a highly competent pop songwriter and an amazing singer. She pushed straight through some minor wardrobe malfunctions, and sang smoothly while two stagehands adjusted her dress. (Ruan changed his middle group uniform and went back out wearing a sexy yellow taxi uniform.)

On top of that, Rawan took that stage with something to say. Between songs, she read the inscription engraved on the base of the statue. “This means freedom and transgender rights. “This means freedom and women’s rights.” Visibly emotional and visibly nervous, Rawan took time on one of the biggest stages of her career to add: “This especially means freedom for all oppressed people in the occupied territories.” She later dedicated the song “My Kink Is Karma” to the White House, revealing that she had turned down an invitation to perform at a Pride Month event. “We want freedom, justice and liberty for all. When you do that, then I will come,” she declared.

AV Club The staff have been great boosters Rowan for a while, but seeing her at the Gov Ball was a truly historic moment in her stratospheric rise to stardom, one that will be remembered as part of the summer in which she became “the next big thing.” She combines Lady Gaga’s artistic performance and Katy Perry’s bold, big-effort pop songwriting with a uniquely Gen Z sensibility—plus something specific and alchemical all her own. She’s been one to watch since the release of “Pink Pony Club” in 2020. And as anyone on the Gov Ball show can attest, she’s now a star you can’t take your eyes off. [Mary Kate Carr]


Other honorable mentions from the 2024 Governors Ball Music Festival:

  • Post Malone got his groove on as Friday night’s headliner, playing a bombastic, fireworks-filled set that included his latest No. 1 hit (sans collaboration with Morgan Wallen), “I Got Some Help,” as an encore. [Mary Kate Carr]
  • The Killers celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut album Hot stir, gave a wonderful show steeped in nostalgia. Frontman Brandon Flowers sounds every bit as good as it did back then, and during their headlining show Saturday night, the band delivered one crowd-pleasing performance after another — including a surprise cover of “Maps Yeah Yeah Yeahs.” “Millennials are so…they know their audience,” we heard one audience member agree with the comment. [Mary Kate Carr]
  • Sabrina Carpenter has arrived. As if the success of “Espresso” wasn’t a sign – the performance she gave at the Gov Ball – the singer won over the audience with her new single “Please Please Please” and another fun outro titled “Bullshit.” She clearly knows how to engage with her fans while making them laugh and laugh at the same time, she is a true pop star. [Saloni Gajjar]
  • Carly Rae Jepsen maintains her iconic status as a pop icon with an upbeat collection of hit songs throughout her long and fruitful career. Disco-infused dance numbers from The loneliest And The best moments They were the highlights, but of course everyone was blown away by “Call Me Maybe” and the absolutely transcendent “Cut To The Feeling”. [Mary Kate Carr]
  • Renee Rapp was as excited as a firework as she sang her favorite songs like “Talk Too Much,” “Poison Poison” and “Snow Angel,” and defended the stage kids’ honor before singing her breakout song, “In The Kitchen.” She also included a raucous solo rendition of her Mean Girls hit “Not My Fault” which was a delightful treat for the theater kids involved (and everyone else, of course). [Emma Keates]
  • Faye Webster opened her laundromat-themed collection with a Minions-themed visual before moving on to her dreamy, blue, but still edgy ensemble — one that was Chappelle Rowan-approved, with the singer captured on camera wearing a hoodie And full green body paint swaying with the rest of the crowd. [Mary Kate Carr]
  • SZA headlined day three at the Gov Ball proving once again that she is just an amazing performer. She performed a show filled with SOS hits, beloved collaborations like “All The Stars” and “Kiss Me More,” and her latest single, “Saturn.” It was exciting, charming and a crowd pleaser in all the right ways. (Just watch a video of her “Low” performance if you don’t believe us.) [Saloni Gajjar]

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