Snoop, GRiZ and 10 other moments that made Movement
Another Movement festival is in the books, as three days of thunderous bass, pounding techno and Journey hits — courtesy of DJ Snoopadelic — wrapped up Monday night at Hart Plaza.
The weekend-long festival saw strong crowds pay respect to techno legends and party to electronic music up-and-comers. Then there was Snoop, who really was in a category all his own.
Among the more than 140 performances on six stages, here are 12 defining moments from Movement 2015.
SNOOP SPINS THE HITS: Snoop Dogg closed out the festival on the Movement Stage Monday performing as DJ Snoopadelic, but even calling him "DJ" is being extremely liberal with the term. He played songs, yes, but he didn't attempt to match beats, fade songs into one another or build any sort of cohesive set. He didn't even bother wearing headphones. He was basically a wedding DJ, but saying that downplays the craft of being a wedding DJ. He was Snoop Dogg shuffling through a playlist.
He's Snoop Dogg, and that means something. He opened his hour-long set cueing Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode" on his laptop and rolled right into Icona Pop and Charli XCX's "I Love It." From there, he bounced around current rap hits (Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen," O.T. Genasis' "I'm In Love with the Coco"), '90s favorites (House of Pain's "Jump Around," Montell Jordan's "This is How We Do It") and classic rock jams (Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll," Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'"), with a few of his own songs thrown in for good measure. (Particularly appropriate was the line in "Drop It Like It's Hot" where he says, "I cut so much, you thought I was a DJ.") He bopped in place to the music, smoked several joints and occasionally hyped up the crowd.
And the crowd, from the looks of it, loved it.
There are two schools of thought on the performance. On the one hand: It had no business at a festival so dedicated to preserving and honoring the purity of electronic music. (While Snoop played the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" — likely the first time the song has ever been played at the fest — techno originators Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May played to a crowd a fraction the size of Snoop's on a stage just a football's throw away.) It was Emperor's New Clothes celebrity DJing at its most indulgent; at least Paris Hilton twiddles some knobs when she plays.
On the other hand: It was plenty of fun, and maybe that's enough. He played Bell Biv Devoe, the Eurythmics and Rae Sremmurd, which no one else did all weekend long. And if it was a crime against the festival's core values, the fans didn't seem to mind. The crowd was a sea of waving arms and moving bodies (save for that "I Gotta Feeling" drop, which sort of let the air out of the room). But maybe everything doesn't have to have meaning. Sometimes it's OK to just shut up and listen to what song Snoop Dogg is going to play next.
GRIZ COMES HOME: Before Snoop played the main stage, GRiZ warmed it up for him with a pumped-up hour-long homecoming set. "It's good to be home!" Southfield's Grant Kwiecinski exclaimed at the opening of his performance, which mixed funk, soul and seismic EDM bass drops with GRiZ's wailing saxophone accompaniments. It was a lively, adventurous showing, with GRiZ joined by a small horn section and his pal Muzzy Bearr on guitar. Late in his set, GRiZ rolled into "Hard Times," the video for which was filmed during his rain-soaked set at Movement in 2013. This time there were no rains, just a showering of love from the audience. Flip GRiZ's set time with Snoop Dogg's and it would have been a triumphant, forward-thinking close to the festival.
DOG BLOOD BARKS LOUD: EDM superstar Skrillex teamed up with German DJ/ producer Boys Noize on Sunday night for a rowdy performance from their group Dog Blood. Skrillex jumped atop his DJ table numerous times during the set, hyping an already amped-up crowd while dropping party anthems including his own "Wild for the Night." The pedal-to-the-metal performance rarely let up, and fueled fans who were on their way out for a night of afterparties after the fest.
OFFICER ROCKSTAR TAKES THE STAGE: One of the scene-stealers at this year's Movement was not a performer but a police officer. During Hudson Mohawke's performance Sunday night on the Red Bull Music Academy stage, Detroit police officer Frederick Youngblood hopped on stage and made his way over to Mohawke as if he was going to shut down the performance, only to turn to the crowd and lead them in a massive cheer. For the 25-year-old Douglas, who has been on the job only three weeks, the move was a way to show the fans that the police were on their side. "I was just letting the crowd know that we love them," Youngblood said. "We have no problem with (the fans). I'm just letting the community know we're there for them, and it feels good to interact with everybody."
HUDSON MOHAWKE REACHES HIGHER GROUND: British DJ (and Kanye West associate) Hudson Mohawke's Sunday set was one of the day's liveliest, and he whipped up fans with his ambitious, cartoonishly gargantuan soundscapes. Midway through his set — when he dropped his hit "Higher Ground," which sounds like Pharoahe Monch's "Simon Says" colliding with a Zeppelin — he dropped the sound out of the hook and started it over, just to tease fans a bit longer. Mohawke also looped a handful of vintage Detroit soul samples (including the Miracles' "Ooo Baby Baby" and Diana Ross' "Keep an Eye") with raucous trap beats, mixing in bass drops that fell like 10 kiloton nuclear bombs.
DISCLOSURE STARTS A FIRE: English duo Disclosure closed Friday night at the fest with a 90-minute performance that kicked off with "When a Fire Starts to Burn," the lead-off track of the group's debut album "Settle." From there, their set bobbed and weaved to a liquidy groove, and culminated with "Latch," the smash single that features vocals from Sam Smith and became the day's biggest pull-out-your-cell-phone moment. The group's set closed with a final song that sampled Teddy Pendergrass' "You Can't Hide From Yourself" before heading off to a sold-out afterparty where they performed alongside Kevin Saunderson.
RICHIE HAWTIN LIGHTS UP THE SKY: Richie Hawtin gave a techno tutorial Saturday night during his headlining performance on the main stage, his minimal sound accompanied by an extravagant light show, with 12 spotlights beaming high into the sky and forming a tight pyramid above his head. Hawtin was so in his element that his set didn't wrap until 12:10, 10 minutes past Hart Plaza's midnight curfew. No one seemed to mind.
LINES MOUNT OUTSIDE FESTIVAL: An influx of walk-up ticket buyers and a snag in the ticketing system combined to cripple the festival on its first day, as some fans entering Hart Plaza had to wait upward of one hour to gain entrance into the festival. Angry fans flooded Movement's Facebook page with comments blasting them for being disorganized and unprofessional, and the deleting of those comments served to anger them even further. But cooler heads prevailed and by Sunday, organizers had emailed ticket holders and the issue had been resolved, and the next two days ran smoothly.
SAUNDERSON EXPLORES TECHNO ORIGINS: Organizers turned to several techno greats and let them program their own showcases during the fest. After Carl Craig's Detroit Love showcase on Saturday and Metroplex Records' 30-year anniversary celebration on Sunday, Kevin Saunderson grabbed the reins on Monday for his second annual Origins presentation. The day included sets by DJ Minx, D. Wynn and Phuture, as well as Saunderson's sons Damarii and Dantiez, who perform as the Saunderson Brothers. During the pair's set, proud papa Saunderson joined them on stage, and later stood behind them and filmed them with his phone. Saunderson himself closed the day with a performance alongside fellow techno originator Derrick May, two giants performing parallel to Jefferson Avenue in the heart of the city that made them, and they made in return.
GODFATHER MOVES BOOTIES: Mid-day Monday, DJ Godfather brought his annual ghettotech extravaganza to the Red Bull Music Academy stage. It was still early in the day — at Movement, the fun goes up when the sun goes down — but Godfather's reliable mix of heavy beats and bawdy rap hits had the 3 o' clock hour feeling like a trip to the strip club. Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen" and French Montana's "Pop That" made appearances, as well as a sample that repeated "if this don't make your booty move, your booty must be dead." At this point, that can be considered Godfather's motto.
METHOD MAN BRINGS THE PAIN: Wu-Tang Clan rapper Method Man brought his signature energy and cool charisma to his early evening set Saturday on the Red Bull Music Academy Stage. Filing through an assortment of solo material and Wu-Tang hits, including "Bring the Pain," "What the Bloodclot," "Method Man," "Ice Cream," "C.R.E.A.M." and "I'll Be There For You/ You're All I Need to Get By," he also performed a choreographed dance routine at one point and joked about how much effort went into putting it together. He also paid tribute to the late Ol' Dirty Bastard, Notorious B.I.G. and Jam Master Jay during his 50-minute set, and fans threw up W-symbols with their hands and moshed on command, and happily caught him both times he hurled himself into the crowd.
DANNY BROWN UNITES CROWD: "Hi, my name is Daniel," Danny Brown told fans during his set on Sunday, but they already knew that. It was a wild homecoming party for Detroit rapper, making his Movement debut, and he delivered an engaging, energetic set that united the crowd the way his colorful T-shirt united the flags of the U.S., U.K., Japan and Italy. Joined on stage by members of his Bruiser Brigade posse, he hit the stage and performed ribald party anthems such as "Smokin' and Drinkin'" and "Molly Ringwald" while bouncing in place, rarely standing still as he slid back and forth across the stage. Brown has a rock star's energy when performing, and the crowd gave it back to him.