West Riverfront Park in Detroit, Michigan will be hosting the 2nd annual Mo Pop Festival this upcoming weekend, and I’m sure you’re all stoked to see Modest Mouse, Passion Pit, and Chromeo.
But what about the other, smaller bands on the roster? What should you spend your time with leading up to the glorious headlining sets? What bands should you show up for way too early in the day so that you’re almost too tired to stay for the headlining act, but you stay for anyways because you spent the money so God dangit you’re staying?! Well, Impact has got you covered.
Here are our Top Five bands to see at Mo Pop Festival whose names don’t rhyme with Godest Blouse, Smashin Kit, or Bromeo.
No. 5 | Natalie Prass
This singer-songwriter from Richmond, Virginia came out with her solid debut self-titled album back in January to critical love, and became an early favorite for many this year with her reserved singing style, juxtaposed with cuttingly harsh lyrics. Prass gets on stage around 3 p.m. on the first day of the festival and her easy-going piano songs will be a great way to kick off the weekend, hopefully grabbing her new fans along the way.
No. 4 | King Tuff
Garage/surf rock is a genre that has been completely saturated with bands that think that if they put “surf” or “beach” in their name and only play two chords, people will hopefully mistake them for early Ty Segall. Thankfully, King Tuff is not one of those bands. King Tuff is hilarious, writes some killer tunes, and will probably end up being the most fun/energetic/insane set of the first day, maybe even the whole festival. Definitely do not miss this guy.
No. 3 | The Front Bottoms
What even is there left to say about The Front Bottoms? They’re one of Impact’s favorite bands. Mixing their brand of approachable emo/punk/acoustic together perfectly, and being known for their insanely energetic live performances, they’re a Mo Pop must-see. You won’t regret being towards the back of the crowd for Passion Pit because you stay too long with your friends at the front of the stage moshing to some of The Front Bottoms’ already classic songs, “Maps”, “12 Feet Deep”, and “Twin Mattress”. I can’t think of a band that will put everyone in a better mood for the end of the festival.
No. 2 | Brandon Flowers
Something about seeing The Killers’ frontman’s solo set will be surreal to me. The Killers use to be one of my favorite bands back in middle school and I still haven’t seen them live (not sure I would want to unless they’re strictly playing Hot Fuss and Sam’s Town, but that’s besides the point). But this probably won’t be a setlist that caters to Killers fans. Instead, Mr. Flowers will most likely be playing songs from his recently released record The Desired Effect—rightfully so, of course. While I do think that would be an enjoyable set in it’s own right, one can only hope that Flowers whips out some acoustic versions of The Killers’ best stuff: “Jenny was Friend of Mine”, “When You Were Young”, and “Mr. Brightside” come to mind right off the bat. Either way, he’ll get everyone warmed up for Chromeo at the end of the night.
No. 1 | Viet Cong
Get ready to add another band to your list of “cool bands from Canada.” Viet Cong contains two ex-members of the band Women who broke up after their guitarist, unfortunately, suddenly died in his sleep. They came out with their debut self-titled album in January and turned heads everywhere (just like Ms. Prass). It’s hard to describe what a post-punk band sounds like without using Joy Division to explain, but here I go. Brooding deadpan vocals, brittle skittering drums, meaty basslines, and shrill splintered guitar riffs that Thurston Moore would be proud of. Sold yet? If not, check out their 4 p.m. set on Sunday and see if that doesn’t change your mind.
Jacob Richards is the Music Director for Impact | WDBM