Detroit’s indie/rock/hip-hop/whatever festival on the river, Mo Pop, was this past weekend! We went to both days to drink it all in (literally and figuratively), get a nice radiation burn (we’re rebranding “sun burn”), and rock out with our privates out (nothing to add, just sticking to the parenthetical theme). The weather was surprisingly perfect, the music was brilliant and the fun was constant. Now we’re giving out awards to recognize the best of the best. We’re covering everything from what we loved to what we hated. Welcome to the 2018 Mopey Awards! Please give a round of applause for tonight’s host, Justin Trudell! (not the Canadian Prime Minister, he’s too expensive for us)
Let’s start handing out the side-eyes.
Armageddon Award – for fulfilling Steven Tyler’s request of “I don’t wanna miss a thing” goes to…
The Stage Layout
The layout of the festival is brilliant. Having only two stages makes it easy to enjoy every artist. Plus, the audio actually gets better the further back from you get. So, you can either get up in the pit to bounce and dance, or chill in the back and just listen to the music. You don’t have to miss anything.
Rocket League Award – for being fascinating to watch even though everyone fucking sucks at it goes to…
Those Air Bean Bag Chair Things
Watching so many attempts by uncoordinated, drunk people trying to spin around and inflate their chair with a quick gust of wind was simply amazing. My unofficial data suggests that roughly 5% of people were successful within their first 7 attempts. This should be a game show. We’d all watch.
Olmec Award – for “The choices are yours and yours alone!” goes to…
Feel like saving a few bucks? Great. Since the surrounding area of the festival isn’t exactly bustling with business (plus it’s on a weekend), there’s plenty of street parking to be had, almost all of it free. There was a bit of a walk, though.
Not about that walking lyfe? No problem. Pay to park right by the entrance of festival. It’ll cost you about $20. Often this is worth it. I can’t even begin to count the enjoyable concerts I’ve been to that were completely ruined by a shitty parking experience (I’m looking at you DTE). Nice job Mo Pop.
Laffy Taffy Award – for making me utter my favorite Laffy Taffy punchline of all time goes to…
Every year. Plant some grass or throw down some gravel like a softball infield for fuck sake. Coming home covered in a layer of dirt is disgusting… or sexy. We don’t judge.
(Joke: What did one casket say to the other casket? “Is that you coffin (coughin)?”)
Tommy Boy Award – for wondering “Is there anything to do in this town besides eat?” goes to…
Stuff to Do
Cornhole, giant tic-tac-toe, Jenga, Nerf battlefield, Arcade tent, pianos and the new addition of a dancefloor club thing – there was a ton of stuff to do, besides eat.
Slot Machine Award – for hitting the jackpot with bars goes to…
I didn’t have to wait more than like 5-minutes for a drink, even at the peak hours later in the evening. They were not messing around. “Yaaas” as the basic girls say.
Deadbeat Dad Award – for showing up sometimes, but you can’t count on them goes to…
It was nearly impossible to get a connection and for some reason my phone thought I was in Canada. Yikes. Get a sponsor to pay for Wi-Fi that’s available for the entire festival so we can share photos/videos on social media. Promote your show and make some money. C’mon, Mo Pop.
Vending Machine Double Drop Award – for wanting one thing and getting so more goes to…
Portugal. The Man
I mean, 30% of the crowd had to be only familiar with “Feel It Still,” right? But they delivered so much more than just that. PTM’s set started with a pretty amusing Beavis and Butthead introduction. From there, it was an hour of non-stop dance vibes with occasional interesting cover song mashups throughout. They closed with the song we all knew, but I could’ve used more PTM.
Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade 800-Year-Old Grail Knight Dude Award – for the decision that made me think “He chose…poorly” goes to…
Saturday Night Headliner
They weren’t bad performers, but Bon Iver’s set of somewhat tranquil music isn’t best suited for a Saturday night crowd who was just worked into a frenzy by Vince Staples. Closing out Mo Pop on Sunday night would’ve made more sense, but I get it, there’s scheduling issues and shit. And to be fair, Bon Iver isn’t as much of a laid-back act as they used to be, but it’s Saturday night. Let’s fucking rage baby!
Red Bull Award – for lots of energy, not much substance, and probably bad for your health goes to…
Vince Staples and Brockhampton
Both hip-hop acts brought some incredible energy, but I found Brockhampton to be a repackaged version of a bunch of things we’ve already seen. But whatever. They were fun to watch and created a giant mosh pit. Although the distinct screech of young women for a few of the guys made me think they were YouTube stars who started a rap group. I’m too lazy to research this.
This was my first time seeing Vince Staples and I was pretty impressed. However, again I didn’t find him to be the most original act. Lots of energy and good music, but ultimately felt like an EDM show, but instead of a DJ, it was a rapper barking out orders to “put your hands up” and “when this beat drops, lost your minds! 1…2…1, 2, 3, 4!”
Princess Buttercup Award – for the artist I would do anything for, no questions asked goes to…
This was my first time getting to see Annie Clark (St. Vincent) perform live, and I was incredibly impressed. Her voice, her fashion, her stage setup, her supporting band, everything was just phenomenal. And she can fucking shred.
Annie seemed have a different guitar for each song, probably to match all her different pairs of shoes. Women…AMIRITE?! (Totally kidding. I imagine it was for tuning purposes based on the variety of complex and unique tones used in each song.)
After seeing her at Mo Pop perform everything from the electronic rock favorite “Los Ageless,” to the iconic riff on “Cruel,” to a beautiful rendition of “Happy Birthday, Johnny” to close out her set, I’d do anything to see her again. Just like Wesley in The Princess Bride, she is my Buttercup.
Them: “St. Vincent is playing in Death Valley and requesting that everyone dress in aluminum foil and barb wire.”
Me: “As you wish.”
Thank you for attending the 2018 Mopeys! We’ll see you next year.