Mo Pop Festival 2015 Part IV: Wild Child, The Front Bottoms, Saint Motel, Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas, and Modest Mouse
It was hard to believe that the day was going by so quickly and although I felt pretty tired, I was pretty pumped to see what the last few bands had to offer. I had yet to be disappointed by any bands and the back half of day two was a nice mix of acts that I knew and ones that I didn’t. After grabbing a much needed peach smoothie from the Bearclaw Coffee Company truck, it was off to find a spot near the Fender Premium Audio stage for the next band.
Hailing all the way from Austin, Texas, Wild Child was another band that I had only heard a handful of songs from. Like many of the other acts, they seemed to be very excited to be at Mo Pop and thrilled to see the eager faces packing in to watch them perform. I was hooked from the first notes of opening track “The Escape,” and judging by the reaction of the crowd, I wasn’t the only one. Singer / violinist Kelsey Wilson seemed particularly elated and surprised by the warm reaction Wild Child received, “I love you guys so much!” She repeated multiple times throughout the set. They even played “Silly Things” upon request from a devoted fan near the front of the crowd. Wild Child filled their set with so many fun songs and put on an overall engaging and entertaining set that I heard many people talking about as I walked around the festival after. Their new album, Fools, drops in October and I can’t wait to get my hands on it along with getting out to see them on tour again.
While none of the bands thus far had disappointed it was great to know that the next band was going to put on an excellent show. This would be my third time seeing The Front Bottoms live and I was excited to see them play in front of the huge crowd that had packed Mo Pop. “We’re not from Michigan,” Brian Sella said as soon as he and the band took the stage, “but it always feels like we are when we play here.” The guys kicked their set off with one of my favorite Front Bottoms’ tracks “Skeleton,” sending the packed crowd directly in front of the stage into a dancing and singing frenzy. “We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world!” Selle shouted to boisterous applause. “This is about being in Detroit and playing music,” he continued before starting “Maps.” It was great to get such a familiar, uproarious set to keep me and everyone else in the crowd going through the end of the night and as usual, I can’t wait to see The Front Bottoms take the stage again.
It seems like the song most likely stuck in my head recently is Saint Motel’s “My Type.” It might be because it’s been playing basically non-stop on the radio for months now or maybe just because it’s just so darn catchy. Whatever it is, I don’t care, all I wanted was to hear more of the band’s catchy hooks and Mo Pop was just the place to do that. The band was the last to appear on the Fender Premium Audio stage which was basically impossible to get near due to the sheer number of people packed in to see them. The L.A. quartet wasted no time showing the crowd that they deserved a spot in one of the longer set times and kicked their set off with the shimmery “Feed Me Now” off of their debut full length LP, Voyeur. Saint Motel packed their set with energetic tracks that had the crowd moving from start to finish and left us all begging for more. Along with Wild Child, Saint Motel was the band I heard the most buzz about after their set and for good reason. I know I sure won’t be missing their next show in Detroit.
Jessica Hernandez got quite the hometown welcome when she and her band, The Deltas, took the Grande stage. It had been two years since Hernandez had performed in Detroit and she made sure to make up for the lost time throwing everything she had into her set. I guarantee that even if you aren’t a fan of her music there is no way you’d be able to resist Hernandez’s stage presence and charisma. There wasn’t one body on the lawn not moving along to the singer’s sultry vocals and captivating songs. It’s not just that the girl can slay on her guitar or dance like she has energy to spare, but also that she’s quite funny when she’s regaling everyone with the backstories of her songs. “This song has another funny story behind it but I won’t tell you because my family is backstage, it’s call ‘Picture Me With You (Carnie Threesome).'” While I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to listen to Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas, I’m definitely a fan now and find myself unable to resist the captivating pull of her music.
I honestly had no idea what to expect from Modest Mouse’s live show. I hadn’t actually heard anything about their concert experience until I was waiting for them to take the stage and a fellow Mo Popper said that they had seen them in concert numerous times and had bought their tickets just for Modest Mouse. The rest of the bands had been on schedule throughout the festival but Modest Mouse waited a half hour longer to take the stage. I’m sure it was to build up the anticipation because the crowd exploded with applause and shouts as soon as what sounded like bees loudly buzzing filled the speakers, echoing out into West Riverfront Park. I didn’t think it was possible, but the crowd grew even louder when the lights dropped down to nothing but a blue glow. You could barely hear yourself think when the band marched out onto stage and the lights went from blue to purple as they begin to play “The World At Large.”
Modest Mouse is another band that puts on a show that I don’t think anyone could resist getting pulled into regardless of whether you’re a fan of their music or not. They sound amazing live and frontman Isaac Brock, although a little strange, is unapologetic and so charismatic as he seems to let whatever thought pops into his head spill out of his mouth between songs. “So I love small talking some of the time and sometimes not at all, so I’m gonna try it out and see how I like it tonight.” He said at one point. It would seem that he was cool with small talking that hot July evening because Brock continued to keep the crowd amused between tracks throughout the sixteen song set.
The band’s setup was massive making for a wonderfully full and loud sound that filled West Riverfront Park. Modest Mouse breezed through a number of their greatest hits and fan favorites causing the seemingly never ending sea of people that filled the venue to dance and sing the night away. I even caught some of the cleaning crew getting down to “Float On” near the end of the band’s set, unable to resist the hypnotic pull of Brock and his band.
All in all it was a wonderfully fun weekend with so many great bands. I never felt disappointed and, just like last year, felt that the weekend was over too soon. Other than a few small things, I loved the change in venue and, as far as I know, so did most people. Mo Pop again tops my list for favorite concert experiences this year and I can’t wait to see what the is in store for next year.
Make sure to check out the first three parts of our Mo Pop 2015 recap:
Part I featuring George Morris, Coin, Ryley Walker, Ex Cops, and Natalie Prass
Part II featuring Coasts, King Tuff, James Bay, Atlas Genius, and Iron & Wine with Ben Bridwell
Part III featuring ELEL, Sonny & the Sunsets, Dreamers, GIVERS, In the Valley Below, and Viet Cong