Mo Pop Festival thrills fans on the Detroit riverfront with two days of awesome music, food, drinks, and sunshine.

Now in its fifth year overall and third year at West Riverfront Park, the Mo Pop Festival is becoming a must-see event for many fans year after year.  Unlike some past years where high temperatures and heavy rain marred the event, mother nature blesses the thousands in attendance with sunshine, temperatures in the low 80s, and a nice breeze off the Detroit River.  Early estimates have the attendance exceeding last year’s 20,000+ for the weekend.

To keep the fans fueled up and hydrated for the duration of the event, Mo Pop has many food and drink options, as well as a free water refill station.  For this year’s festival, local Griffin Claw Brewing Company created the MoPop Festipale Ale in a decorative can.  

The Shipyard is a popular destination under a tent with tables to sit and relax while enjoying cold drinks, as well as BBQ from Slows.  Another popular drink spot is the Tiki Bar serving up speciality drinks from The Sugar House.  There are several food trucks with delicious eats including Hero or Villain, Los Dos Amigos, Nu Deli, The Rolling Stoves, and Rollin Stone Wood Fired Pizza.  Judging by the number of people walking around eating Island Noodles, it must be the most popular food choice.

However, it’s the music artists and bands that bring the fans to the event.  Mo Pop appeals to its fans for the variety including rock, alternative rock, indie, rap, hip-hop, soul, and electronic.  The crowds flock between the two stages to catch as many of the acts as they can.  Some artists are even available to greet fans in a nearby tent after their sets.

Day 1 kicks off with two local Michigan artists, Humons with their chill, electronic-driven house and trance music, as well as an energetic set of alternative rock by Michigander led by singer/guitarist Jason Singer.  Jay Som from Oakland, CA run through a varied set of music that spans from pop and alternative rock to guitar-driven angst.  The crowd loves it.

After a bit of technical delay, Grace Mitchell comes roaring out of the gate with one of the best sets of the day.  Drawing from her two EPs and an upcoming album, she leads her band through a high-energy set that has her owning the whole stage.  She sings with conviction on the new track “Kids (Ain’t All Right)” and shows off dance moves and poses, some that resemble something you might see from Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.  Judging by the fan reaction, she has a bright future.

Mondo Cozmo continues the fun with another great set featuring songs from their upcoming, debut album Plastic Soul including “Chemical Dream”, “11 Acre”, “Higher”, “Automatic”, and the title track.  One of the standout songs, the single “Shine”, has the audience singing along as singer guitarist Josh Ostrander belts out the song in a vocal like Bob Dylan.

Hip-hop and rap acts, Amine and Run the Jewels, really heat things up with the fans.  Driven by some heavy beats that shake the ground, the audience bounces, waves, and raps along.  Killer Mike and El-P from Run the Jewels know how to work a crowd as they stalk the stage and trade off vocals, occasionally joke around and strike some fun poses.  They make it as much fun on the stage as it is for the fans taking it all in.

Pvris from Lowell, Massachusetts get the crowd rocking.  Led by Lynn Gunn on lead vocals, guitar, and keyboards, they tear through an 8-song set that draws from their debut White Noise, as well as playing “Heaven” and ”Half” from the upcoming All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell.  2017 should be a big year for Pvris with their new release and major, headlining tour.

Wavves lighten things up with a quirky set of alternative rock and punk that has the crowd going crazy.  Pulling from their various releases including the recent You’re Welcome, they entertain the crowd with songs including “Way Too Much”, “Daisy”, “Idiot”, and “My Head Hurts”.  The guitarist looks like he is right out of a heavy metal band with long hair flying about while jamming on a flying V guitar.  This band is a ton of fun and the crowd enjoys every minute of it.

Another major highlight of Day 1 is electro-rock duo Phantogram, led by Josh Carter and the stunning Sarah Barthel.  Sarah commands the stage with her presence as she dances about while mesmerizing the fans with her airy vocals.  Their sound runs the gamut from pop, to rock, to spacey alternative and electronic.  The crowd loves it all and reacts by dancing and singing along to many of the songs including hits like “Same Old Blues”, “Howling at the Moon”, the bass-heavy “Fall in Love”, and the catchy closer “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore”.

Foster the People close out the day with a frolicking set of alternative rock.  Mark Foster is on fire as he rapidly works the whole stage during the opening song “Loyal Like Sid & Nancy” from their new release Sacred Hearts Club.  Their set is full of their popular songs that have the audience bouncing, dancing and singing along including “Helena Beat”. “Houdini”, “Pumped Up Kicks”, and “Don’t Stop”, as well as the new single “Doing It for the Money”.

Day 1 of the Mo Pop Festival is a huge success and from all accounts, Day 2 is just as awesome.  Fans are treated to another beautiful, sunny day with music from the likes of alt-J, Solange, Tyler the Creator, Arkells, Vance Joy, and Pup. Here’s to next year and the continued growing success of the Mo Pop Festival.

Mo Pop Festival
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Event Date: 29-JUL-2017