After Major Lazer, Duck Sauce was the other big-name DJ-producer duo playing Day One of The Governors Ball on Saturday (Jun. 23). The key word being “after”. Major Lazer killed it, butchered it and cooked it for dinner. So Duck Sauce’s A-Trak and Armand Van Helden had their work cut out for them to answer in kind.
They drew a huge crowd, who all showed up for “Barbra Streisand” and “Big Bad Wolf”, let’s be honest. Once those songs hit, they elicited some of the biggest crowd reactions of the day. Unfortunately, you had to wade through a lot of pretty generic (yet expertly sampled) house music to get to those. Basically, there seemed to be less at stake with their music; the bass drops and crescendos didn’t seem to pack the same punch as Lazer’s or Big Gigantic’s. Perhaps if it were at night, with the whole light show, it would’ve been a more captivating show. (We often forget how much of a disadvantage it is to play during the day, with the accompanying light show rendered nearly invisible.)
That said, everyone was having a blast. And what they lacked in the climax department (again, excluding the two hits), they made up for in bass. It was that type of brain-scrambling, ribcage-rattling bass that is so intense it seems to be lagging behind the rest of the song.
So it wasn’t anything legendary. But even a by-the-numbers dance party is better than no dance party, right? If Duck Sauce can put together more songs that have close to the same level of character as “Barbra Streisand” — see “Luis Guzman” — the live experience can go from good to must-see.
— Photo by Aymann Ismail