If the first day of the Movement festival is any indication the rest of the weekend, it will be stellar. Initially the day was threatened by severe weather when thunderstorms rolled through in the early morning. This early threat and worry of intense heat and humidity was quashed — reprieved by glorious temperatures and cool breezes throughout the day making for an enjoyable day for all.
The crowds swelled as each hour passed and stages were packed with a mass of dancing humanity. Movement crowds are worth the price of admission alone. If you are the type of person who enjoys people watching, you will have a field day here. The fashion trends and faux pas are on display with people delighting in the attention they receive by passers by. The thoroughfare is a mass with shopping, festival foods (including local area restaurant tents) and new this year, the biergarten. But while the food, fashion and shopping are wonderful, it’s the music after all that is tantamount here.
One stand out was the French band dOP. Singer Jonathan Illel had the swagger of a grizzled Detroit MC, he had the crowd eating out of his hands. Guttural soulful shouts and clever freestyle chorus looped made for a hot set. Strong bass grooves that dropped and changed styles made for a crowd pleasing and dancing good time.
Mark Farina (Mushroom Jazz Set) was a nice mid-day surprise. Nice smooth beats to sway to and still move with. It was in fact mid-afternoon and called for a more docile vibe to limber up the muscles for the serious harder beats later on. The set was a great and had people really moving.
Greg Wilson on the Main Stage had a great set as well. Electronic dance music with lyrics pretty damn catchy. Wilson mixed several samples and full length popular songs with new beats to create new pop songs. Have you heard Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” with deep drum and bass? People at Movement 2012 did.
Some other acts that deserve a nod? Photek was a surprise. The crowd reached critical mass at the Redbull stage with this act. They had folks singing along to many songs and the live MC kept the crowd hyped. SBTRKT had another stand out set on Saturday night mixing adaptly through most songs of his critically acclaimed cd. Lastly a shout out to the classic Detroit deep house and techno set of Mike Huckaby, the foundation of electronic music is still rock solid.
More huge acts are coming this weekend. There’s a Movement 2012 app to help you navigate through the rest of the festival, and help you find sets you might not be familiar with. Be sure to follow @DetroitUnspun and #MovementDetroit on Twitter and fan us on Facebook for further coverage.