Top Flight – The Messenger Birds to Navigate Saturday Opening Set at Detroit’s Mo Pop Festival

The Messenger Birds’ Parker Bengry (left) and Chris Williams will kick off Detroit’s Mo Pop Festival Saturday with an opening set.

Editor’s Note: This is the second installment in a special series profiling Michigan artists featured at this weekend’s Mo Pop Festival in Detroit.

The Messenger Birds love the name “Kevin.”

The Detroit alt rock duo heavily reference “Kevin” in their Facebook and Instagram posts, ranging from “Kevin is a place on earth” (imagine hearing it to the tune of Belinda Carlisle’s ‘Heaven is a Place on Earth’) to “Kevin hard at work making a record” to “Lights, Camera, Kevin.”

But who the heck is Kevin, anyway? “Kevin is all of us, Kevin is everywhere,” said Parker Bengry, the band’s vocalist and guitarist.

Chris Williams, drummer and vocalist for The Messenger Birds, esoterically added, “We refer to each other as Kevin, we see ourselves as Kevin, and everybody who listens to our music is Kevin.”

While The Stratton Setlist hasn’t cracked the case about “Kevin” yet, we do know “Kevin” will be invading the Mo Pop Festival Saturday to see his favorite band, The Messenger Birds, play a coveted 1:30 p.m. opening slot on the River Stage.

The Messenger Birds will join 27 other emerging artists, including Vampire Weekend, Tame Impala, Lizzo and Ella Mai, during the two-day indie rock, pop and hip-hop festival this weekend at Detroit’s West Riverfront Park. Nearly 20,000 people are expected to attend the boutique and niche festival, which returns for its seventh year.

Each year, Mo Pop kicks off both festival days with opening performances from Michigan-based artists to expose attendees to some of the area’s rising local acts. The Messenger Birds and Siena Liggins will perform Saturday while The Doozers and the Craig Brown Band will take the stage on Sunday.

It’s been nearly three years in the making for The Messenger Birds to perform at Mo Pop. Back in 2016, festival organizers asked the band to join the lineup after another act dropped out.

Continue reading “Top Flight – The Messenger Birds to Navigate Saturday Opening Set at Detroit’s Mo Pop Festival”

Mo Pop Festival Day 1 Serves Up Delectable Alt Rock, Hip-hop

Mondo Cozmo performs Saturday at Detroit’s Mo Pop Festival.

Saturday served up the perfect dish of music, weather and crowds for day one at Detroit’s Mo Pop Festival.

The festival included a delectable sampling of 11 emerging alt rock, indie pop and hip-hop acts at West Riverfront Park on a dry, bright summer day.

To kickoff day one, Michigan-based acts Humons and Michigander provided tasty summer electronic and pop entrees to early arrivals.

As Humons, Detroit producer Ardalan Sedghi performed dream house tracks from “Spectra,” his five-song EP, and briefly transformed the park into a mini outdoor daytime dance hall for festivalgoers – the ideal way to start any Motor City music festival.

Humons’ dance club was quickly transformed into an intimate rock club when Kalamazoo’s Michigander took the Captain Pabst Stage for his set. Led by Kalamazoo-based Jason Singer, Michigander eagerly welcomed fans with several musical indie pop gems, including “5 a.m.” and “Nineties.”

Continue reading “Mo Pop Festival Day 1 Serves Up Delectable Alt Rock, Hip-hop”

Foster the People, Run the Jewels Headline This Weekend’s Mo Pop Festival in Detroit

Bishop Briggs performs at the Mo Pop Festival in July 2016.

The hottest alt rock and hip-hop acts will perform at Detroit’s West Riverfront Park July 29-30 for the fifth annual Mo Pop Festival.

Other notable artists will include a few Michigan-based acts – Heaters, Stef Chura, Humons and Michigander – along with emerging artists Jay Som, Mondo Cozmo, Waaves, Middle Kids, Vance Joy and Arkells. The full lineup is listed below.

With the Detroit skyline, Windsor, Ontario cityscape and local riverfront serving the festival’s premier backdrop, this is the third year Mo Pop has called the Motor City home.

In 2013 and 2014, the former one-day festival took place at Freedom Hill Amphitheatre (now the Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre) in Sterling Heights, Mich. Mo Pop expanded to a two-day event in 2015 when festival organizers decided to move it to downtown Detroit.

Continue reading “Foster the People, Run the Jewels Headline This Weekend’s Mo Pop Festival in Detroit”