By James Ferency, Detroit Correspondent
Venue: MO POP Festival 2015 at West Riverfront Park, Detroit–July 25-26th, 2015
The good vibes are alive in Detroit at MO Pop Festival. The spirit of moving forward through life and unity was a constant theme felt by the music and atmosphere. MO Pop Festival brought magic and life to Detroit as thousands of smiling and positive faces attended to watch upwards of twenty bands perform on two stages at the riverfront on July 25th and 26th. Street art pieces such as spray painted off-tuned pianos were scattered along the sidewalk for festival goers to continue the music experience by creating some of their own!
In addition to music, the event was lined with vendors such as local food trucks, artists, and metal crafters showcasing the talented, creative, and hardworking nature of Detroit.
The dual stage experience was truly amazing to watch from a distance as a unit of several hundred people would take on the role of the heartbeat of the entire event, walking the short distance back and forth between each set, giving every band and artist incredible energy. Local Detroit musicians including Jessica Hernandez were thrilled to be playing the venue and giving love to their hometown and getting that love right back from the thousands of fans.
Saturday hosted rising artists such as Ex Cops and Natalie Prass as well as the legendary Iron and Wine. Each artist expressed love and gratitude for the Detroit crowd. Ryley Walker, a young guitar virtuoso from northern Illinois entranced his audience with surreal compositions on guitar along with a hypnotic cello.
Through spontaneous generation (or sheer fandom) the crowd seemed to quadruple in size from Saturday to Sunday. Every band that played Sunday had immense amounts of energy to give the crowd – most impressive was the band The Front Bottoms, egging the crowd on between each song and wearing random articles of clothing thrown on the stage including sunglasses and a bra…
Modest Mouse headlined the event and shook the streets of downtown Detroit as well as the nearby Canadian border. As they took the stage the thousands of attendees collected from their scattered places around the venue grounds into a giant crowd coming together at last. Modest Mouse front singer admitted to saving his voice for the show and we all were grateful that he did as the band made us dance and sway under their happy and powerful music.
One thing after all of this is certain–MO Pop is not a concert to be missed next year if one has the opportunity. There’s nothing greater than thousands gathered in peace and love, bonding over some of the best music around.
Highlights of the festival are shown below:
- Second Annual Dick Wagner charity event fills the Fillmore with legendary talent - February 23, 2016
- Lights brings her electro-soul music and positive message to Detroit - November 27, 2015
- Post-punk band The Pests bring their eccentric and fun music to Detroit - November 18, 2015