Toward the end of his two-hour set Tuesday night, Father John Misty hosted a mini Q&A session with more than 1,000 fans at Royal Oak Music Theatre in Royal Oak, Mich.
He took one question from a woman crammed in the pit with other fans near the stage. She shouted, “How did you first get into doing this?”
Father John Misty paused for a moment and then answered matter-of-factly: “I started doing this because I was not good at anything else.”
His answer resonated with fans because it was honest and authentic. Unlike other artists, Father John Misty, a.k.a. Josh Tillman, is known for being real and direct.
With a sardonic sense of humor, Father John Misty provides colorful commentary about life, politics, human connection and music through his latest album, “Pure Comedy.” I can’t help but laugh every time he gives a serious answer behind his sarcastic grin. His musings are just as entertaining as his indie folk rock.
Father John Misty continued to share his unconventional career path with fans: “I started as a dishwasher and then donated plasma for a long time, became estranged from my parents, played drums for a bunch of bands and then started taking psychedelic drugs, stopped doing psychedelic drugs, bought some really tight pants, so if you follow those steps in that order …”
Surrounded by thick smoke and neon lights, Sylvan Esso’s pulsating beats electrified a sold-out crowd at The Crofoot Sunday night in Pontiac, Mich.
The Durham, N.C. indie synthpop duo played a 75-minute danceable set featuring 16 songs from their 2014 eponymous self-titled debut and their latest album, “What Now.”
After opening with “Sound,” Nick Sanborn addressed the duo’s overdue stop in the Detroit area.
“Sometimes, when you’re in a band this thing happens where you put up any dates at all, and then inevitably, someone is like, ‘Come to Brazil,’ and you’re like, ‘It’s so hard to go to Brazil,’ so it’s a common band thing,” he said. “And the one place every time somebody says ‘Come to Detroit,’ you guys are like the only ones that get to complain. We’re so sorry, this has been a long time coming.”
A blend of Motor City sunshine, art and music formed a new creative and collaborative vibe during the inaugural Detroit LIVE at the Heidelberg.
That vibe pulsated throughout Heidelberg Street as more than 2,000 attendees enjoyed family, friends, festivities, food and fun at the free Aug. 26 block party near the city’s iconic art installation.
“This Detroit LIVE event at the Heidelberg is a collaboration,” said Jenenne Whitfield, CEO for The Heidelberg Project. “It’s a celebration of all the cultures in the city of Detroit and of all the grassroots initiatives. I want a party in the middle of the street. I want to show Detroit how it’s really done.”
Donna Kassab, POWER Entertainment owner and Detroit LIVE creator, joined Whitfield to reflect on the event’s strong creative community.
“Everyone’s here to celebrate each other as well as music and art,” she said. “Let’s have some fun.”
Nine artists continued to spread that vibe musically as they showcased Detroit’s best hip-hop, techno, R&B, classical and indie rock before curious and engaged attendees.
Together, they’ll showcase emerging and established hip-hop, techno and other music during the free block party hosted by POWER Entertainment and The Heidelberg Project.
From noon to 8 p.m. Saturday at 3600 Heidelberg St. in Detroit’s McDougall-Hunt community, attendees will hear seven other rising musical acts as part of the Detroit LIVE. There also will be an open mic session for other performers interested in demonstrating their talents.
“We want to build a sense of community while featuring Detroit talent and celebrating The Heidelberg Project’s 30th anniversary,” said Donna Kassab, a POWER Entertainment owner and Detroit LIVE creator.
Kassab is hosting the event in conjunction with Jenenne Whitfield, CEO of The Heidelberg Project, near the city’s iconic outdoor art installation. Detroit LIVE is part of Thirty Months of Heidelberg, a series of special programming in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of The Heidelberg Project.
“The Heidelberg Project is one of the most visited cultural destinations in Detroit, so we wanted to bring a lot of people together around art to build a sense of community,” Kassab said. “Detroit LIVE is all about the spirit of collaboration through arts and entertainment.”
Mo Pop festivalgoers received a delicious second helping of emerging alternative music at Detroit’s West Riverfront Park on July 30.
They sank their musical teeth into the sounds of Michigan-based acts Heaters and Stef Chura. Hailing from Grand Rapids, Mich., Heaters divvied up their psychedelic sound for Mo Pop’s early arrivals and played tracks from their latest release, “Baptistina.”
Detroit’s Chura grabbed the Michigan musical torch from Heaters and shared her ‘90s-inspired lo-fi sounds from her debut album, “Messes.” Her signature garage rock resonated with Mo Poppers as they snacked on the best local musical cuisine.
Over on the Grande Stage, Louisville, Ky.’s White Reaper played garage punk and power pop from “The World’s Best American Band,” including “Judy French” and “Little Silver Cross.” Bassist Sam Wilkerson recognized his brother, drummer Nick Wilkerson, during the band’s Mo Pop set.
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.”