By Maximilian de la Garza
The backdrop was perfect - a balmy, not-too-hot spring day greeted Movementarians on the festival's opening day, a welcome reprieve after last year's stormy weekend. Skyscrapers loomed as the bass throbbed and, from what longtime followers say, there was a much larger sea of flesh than in year's prior. "It looks busier than normal for this time, so I think Detroit is really representing," said Gwen Pytowany, 35, who's left arm is sleeved with a Movementesque tattoo scene-scape of the Ren Cen, Hart Plaza and sick turntables. "Detroit brings the best talent for the lowest price. Detroit techno goes back long than anywhere else, it's close competitor, Chicago, goes for twice as much."
The decidedly more hip-hop infused Moog stage brought in a set of characters, including Riff-Raff, an internet celebrity, whose pastel-coiffed Harajuki girls energized the crowd, seeming to prepare the audience for the antics of Queens rapper Action Bronson. He opened in appropriate fashion, given the jovial opening day vibe - "Mother fucking Detroit, look how comfortable I am. I'm out here in my clanclas, I'm out here in my slippers." He then went into rhyming to a medley of classic '90s hip-hop and pop samples, including Pharcyde, John Mellencamp and Phil Collins. He stopped short of getting into some of his infamous food-related antics like at last year's Coachella, when he walked onto stage stuffing chicken wings into his mouth, but his irreverent, hook-laden set was enough to get the party started.
Action Bronson brought his bizarre NYC chicken wing-fueled rap to the masses. We got lost at Beatport swarming our way through wide eyed suburban kids hopped on molly and god knows what else. The fucked up beauty of Movement is the crowd of Europeans and world travelers that specifically come here searching for this Detroit oasis. A lawless one-of-a-kind city that allows expatriates to indulge in a three day bender of music and ecstasy.
In the end though they resemble mosquitoes sucking the lifeblood of our city. Once they leave, what remains? A tattered t-shirt on the ground and empty Budweiser cans? Most of the people we met got to see the city from our point of view, Detroit's denouement. To quote a recent transplant, "This is a city full of happy people. I'm going to finally learn how to smile here."