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Concert Review: The 2019 MOPEY Awards

cover photo

by Justin Trudell

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 2019 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.

Pandora Bracelet Award – For being so damn charming

Alec Benjamin

Alec’s set was wonderful. Incredibly pleasant and put a smile on my face. But, what took it to another level was hearing his stories and anecdotes in between each song. He told them in such a vulnerable and charming way you could leave his set without feeling some kind of way about Alec Benjamin.

Crown Royal Car Award – For the most bizarre sponsorship

Tobacco Road

I mean… for one, isn’t this kind of a hipster event? Hipsters are way too cool to smoke Swisher Sweets. For two, don’t most hipsters vape? Needless to say, these booths stayed pretty empty for most of the weekend. The Swisher Sweets booth did have a karaoke thing going on, which was pretty cool, but don’t expect to see them back next year… unless they develop a vape pen.

Luke P. Award – For the most annoying performance


The moment JID’s DJ took the stage, the volume from the speakers on stage was cranked by like 400%, which itself isn’t terrible. “Turn it up!” as Aunt Judy would always say at family cookouts after polishing off her 4th Michelob Light and hearing the first few notes of Bob Seger’s “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man”. But the DJ kept playing an alarming gunshot sound over and over and over. It would be like changing Pharrell’s shouts of “Woo!” in “Blurred Lines” to gunshots – that’s how frequent it was.
Oh, you’ve never noticed how often Pharrell says “Woo”? This YouTube comment points it out and now I’ve ruined this song for you.  

Doing Coke With Keith Richards Award – For wondering “Why the fuck is this line so long?”

Mo Pop Sign Photo Opp

This was legit a 30 minute wait the entire weekend. Also, everyone in line had to awkwardly and sheepishly ask the person behind them to take a photo of their group of friends. How do I know? I waited in the line to take a photo.

Tom Cruise Lip Sync Battle Award – For the funniest moment of the weekend

Trash Can Crowd Surf

Moshing galore going on during The Story So Far’s set on Sunday. All the sudden some dude gets lifted up in a giant green trash can and almost immediately tips over. It was totally unexpected and brilliant – well, for everyone except the crew who had to clean up all the trash that spilled out.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Award – For the performance that made us think “Well, of course that was great.”

Vampire Weekend

Ezra and the boys have built up a huge following based on some incredible music over their careers. When we heard they would be headlining Mo Pop, excitement started to build. However, it’s been like five years since Vampire Weekend played in Detroit, and there have been a few lineup changes since then, are we sure this is going to be as good as we hope?
Finally after seeing the performance, we all collectively turned to each other and said “yeah, I don’t know why I would’ve thought that was going to be anything but great.”

Tame Impala Award – For making us wish we were on drugs

Tame Impala

Holy crap! The spacey vocals, the trippy light show, the groovy music, everything about Tame Impala was magical. It just made me thing of how much more I would’ve enjoyed it if I was on a drug stronger than alcohol. Next time…

Cubic Zirconia Award – For making us shout “What an eyesore!”

Post Office Building

Eh. Gross. Get out of here or paint this thing a cool color. It’s such a drab building that hangs in the background of everything going on at Mo Pop.

Rube Goldberg Award – For making the price of booze needlessly complicated

Paying with a Credit Card

“Would you like a beer? That’s $8.43. Oh you’re paying in cash? Then you get a discount. It’s only $8.”
It was so strange and needlessly complicated. Just charge $8.50 no matter how you pay and call it a day.

Losers’ Club Award – For the artist who killed it


She was absolutely amazing. Everyone was there to see her. Just smashed into the side stage area. We all came to see her and she delivered. it was incredible.

Thanks for a great Mo Pop! See you in 2020!

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