The birthplace of techno, Movement was held in Detroit’s Hart Plaza on the riverfront the past Memorial Day weekend. Dancing wasn’t only in the plaza of the festival grounds but, hordes of people were dancing along the river boardwalk. All there for one reason and that was to celebrate house music.
Walking in, I was amazed with the crowd. It wasn’t like a typical EDM festival that I was used to; it was a completely different vibe, more mature and all round a great atmosphere. The people were there TRULY for the tunes. Hitting up tINI for my first act of day we headed to the Beatport Stage which I would soon find out was my favorite stage. This stage was right on the water with an amazing view overlooking the Canadian border to Windsor. tINI progressively took the crowd into deeper set. Next, we had to check out the Underground stage. Literally stepping underground, we entered the fog-filled area and I felt like I was in some type of abandoned subway or sewer tunnel. The heavy atmosphere and dark visuals stimulated and matched the dark, deep techno beats. The bass literally almost knocked my ear pieces out. It was amazing.
I headed over to the Moog stage for some trappy, dubstep beats. I watched as my former professor (DJ Zebo) spun side by side with DG Godfather. The crowd was rowdy and the beats were hard. Nothing but straight booty-twerking beats. If anyone was looking for the party, this was the place to be.
I headed back over the Beatport stage to catch Chicago native Green Velvet, who never disappoints. He pounded the dance floor with techno all the way until I left to see Tale of Us at the Red Bull stage.
To finish off my night, I headed back to (of course) the Beatport stage to watch DirtyBird boss Claude Vonstroke close the festival. You could see the enthusiasm on his face as the whole crowd fed off his positive, carefree vibes. Staying true to form, VonStroke delivered a massive and thumping bass-heavy set that threw the crowd into an uproar. Soon enough he dropped the beat to the song I (and I am sure everyone else) was waiting to hear, ‘Who’s Afraid of Detroit’, after his home town. With body grooving baselines, VonStroke solidified his talent for fitting scattered musical elements together perfectly. It was effortless.
On day two, the first set I caught was Adriatique, followed by Seth Trexler. I headed back to the Beatport Stage to see the Martinez Brothers for the first time. I was beyond impressed. An energetic house set caused the crowd to go crazy. They clearly played off the crowds energy as they were on stage dancing and smiling-having just as good of a time. If anyone was tired from the night before, they showed absolutely no signs of fatigue during this set. I decided then and there that I would attend their after-party.
I left the brothers to go see Marco Carola on the decks at the Red Bull stage. If you have ever seen one of his sets you know it’s beyond words. Then, back to the Beatport Stage to check out Dixon. The dance floor was packed as well as the cement stairs that overlooked the stage. He started off light with emotive house, and ended the set with pounding bass and obscure, phased-out vocals I finished the festival with John Digweed, Richie Hawtin, and Marceo Plex. I was off to TV Lounge for my first after party to see Seth Troxler and the Martinez brothers. They went back to back, and if you thought the set at the festival was good, you would have been blown away by this! Just a killer set and I could NOT stop dancing.
After another full day of dancing and after-parties that lasted into the wee hours of the morning, I managed to get it together for the final day. In a scheduling dilemma with Pete Tong, Jamie Jones and Bonobo, I knew I would be bouncing around so I could catch a piece of each set. Pete Tong took over the Beatport Stage providing the crowds with his cutting edge track selection. Always a crowd pleaser, Tong never disappoints. Jamie Jones delivered deep house layered over techy vocals and Bonobo took on the Moog stage with his chill, cool mood. The crowd that was normally rowdy relaxed and grooved to his set.
Back to the Beatport stage as Tiga took the decks. He has the instinctive ability to assemble blends that are both clean and pounding. The sun was setting and the stage lights flashing “TIGA” to every beat. I took it all in, knowing this was the last night, and Tiga dropped, “Lets go dancing”. The crowd (including myself) went nuts. Dancing and looking at everyone around me, I don’t think there was one person not singing and raging.
With sore legs, I headed to the Red Bull stage to see the legendary Carl Cox. Other DJs stood in the back to watch his set go down as well. The crowd flooded in towards the stage. The bass was so heavy I felt as each beat matched my pulse. His set was a perfect way to end my weekend. My first experience at Movement had me beyond satisfied. This highly underrated festival will definitely have me coming back for more next year.
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