Covering Movement Detroit for the first time mid-festival presented a few challenges. At the tail end of a Memorial Day weekend with still ground to cover, arriving at Hart Plaza was a minor mission, but catching sight of raver kids (of all ages) roaming the streets of Motown affirmed that a good time was in full swing.
The rhythm of nature isn’t always a driving beat, it’s much more stop-start. That cycle of building to the beat drop, then feeling and sustaining the payoff can mirror many natural interactions, but amassing human energy in a positive, entertaining manner rarely goes off without a buzzkill or two.
Beauty was certainly in abundance, at the visceral level, and from the celebratory vibe that lacked the tensions usually associated with large masses of humanity commingling.
Our drive in from Lake Michigan got us there right around 6:30 which meant we missed both Wajeed and People Under The Stairs.
Drugs were confiscated while provocatively dressed women (and men) frolicked in abundance at each of the stages overflowing with eager partygoers.
The full lineup, while not necessarily compelling to a hip-hop/reggae head, had just enough to make the whole thing palatable. Danny Brown was the focus artist among our camp, but due to a need to charge devices in the Media Tent, we missed his entrance.
Hustling to the Red Bull stage, we found Brown jumping into “Grown Up,” a more straight-ahead, whimsical tune compared to a lot of his Fool’s Gold stuff. Brown ran through five or six more songs from XXX and Old including “Kush Coma” and “Dip.”
Lovely Bruiser Brigadettes were on the lawn, and one even had the patch with the logo to prove her membership:
Detroit reps hard for their own.
The dense Main Stage always had good music emanating from it, but the crowd was hard to penetrate. Skrillex, as part of duo Dog Blood (along with German DJ/producer Boys Noize), was an obvious draw for most on Day Two, but many backstage and on the grounds were focused on lesser household names like Hot Since 82 and Joseph Capriati (Beatport).
The Beatport Stage had a great setup with a fantastic backdrop featuring the Renaissance Center behind and the Detroit River alongside.
This was a rather social event, the open air allowed for any manner of chance meetings, ones that tended to separate people from their packs. One-on-one real-life interaction with strangers may be making a comeback in 2015.
The EDM community may get a harsh rap from some journeymen music industrialists, but perhaps a trip to Movement would be enough to soften even the most jaded.
High times in the D, y’all.
Photography: Nick Nitro. Shout to Morin Yousif at Paxahau.