Pittsburgh in Detroit: 2014 Movement Festival Recap
We had no expectations going into Movement 2014. Collectively, we have over 10 years of experience attending, and so, not much is genuinely new to us at this point. While in earlier years, we sought new sights and sounds, this trip was approached with a different steez, a go-with-the-flow attitude that always brought us where we should have ended up – with our Pittsburgh family. There was something remarkably different about this year compared to others. The momentum of our local scene managed to carry itself all the way to The D, where our combined love and knowledge of dance music kept us going at times many of us thought we had nothing left to give. This year’s “Detroit hangover” had us hurtin’ twice as hard, a sentiment shared by most of us from Pittsburgh who attended. We could have used just one more day, but life goes on.
House and techno prevailed this year, with the usual suspects surpassing our already high expectations. There were only three stages we concerned ourselves with in regards to this lineup – the main Red Bull-sponsored stage, the new location of Beatport along the river, and the always reliable Made in Detroit. Saturday’s Simian Mobile Disco set had us ready to roll for the rest of the weekend. The energy was contagious and a great start to the experience. Metro Area‘s live set slayed and was a great precursor to the end of a fantastic first night – transitioning perfectly into Tale of Us and ending on a high note with the legendary Underground Resistance. Sunday’s show-stopper was unsurprisingly Mike Huckaby, while Octave One and Jeff Mills‘ closing sets on Monday wrapped everything up in true Detroit fashion.
The real magic happened, however, during the festival’s after and day parties, where us Pittsburgh folk managed to find each other in rare form. Saturday night we hit up Soul Clap’s House of Efunk, presented by RBMA. It was at TV Lounge, one of our favorite Detroit venues, and has three separate performance areas, each with very different vibes. Although the combination of Soul Clap and George Clinton had everyone talking in advance, Claude VonStroke and Justin Martin‘s surprise tag team set was a highlight. You could tell they were having a great time in that silly Dirtybird manner and happy to be home in the D.
Another highlight of the trip was the always sloppy Old Miami party, AKA Need I Say More, AKA Seth Troxler‘s chance to capitalize on all the residual ass he needs to cash in on from last year’s way too naked satirical viral video. You’re either a die hard attendee, or you can take or leave this place. We happened to wait in line for an hour and 15 minutes to get in. Worth it. We partied all day long to the sounds of DJ Tennis, Three, Dixon and The Martinez Brothers. Some of our Pittsburgh friends, though, cut their losses and headed for the hills once they caught wind of the line. And so, this meme was born. We found ourselves saying “F that” many times while waiting in line and if it weren’t for Mr. Troxler himself coming out periodically to reassure everyone they were funneling people in as quickly as possible, despite tight security checks this year, we managed. Props to those of you who showed up with line beers. Good call. We’ll be doin’ that next year.
We can’t forget about our Pittsburgh homies, who repped hard and contributed to the true sense of community felt by all of us who made the journey. Pittsburgh’s boundary-pushing homo-friendly party at Macho City, Honcho, was spearheaded by Ed Um and Aaron Clark, who both played the party, and a few other sexy ‘Burgh gays. While it likely flew under the radar of most festival attendees, it was a refreshing break from the madness of the fest. Just look at these outfits. We’re sure they did Honcho justice in The D. We’re sure they did The D in the party, too.
Industry Brunch was the other day party we hit up. We lounged to the sounds of our very own Shawn Rudiman, Paul Zyla and Aaron Clark while in the company of some rockin’ techno bees. Comet Bar is a hidden gem of the D, which we referred to periodically throughout the day as ‘Old Miami Lite’, minus some of the douchery. Too bad it’s about to be demolished so the Red Wings can have a new stadium. If you were too hot outside, there were places to kick back in the shade. And if you came hungry there was enough to tide you over until you got a big meal in your belly. Most enjoyably, however, was interacting with many folks who’ve had the pleasure of playing recently in the ‘Burgh, such as Titonton Duvante and The Black Madonna, both of whom recently killed it at Hot Mass. Pittsburgh is educating its population when it comes to dance music. Rather than showing up to a party half in the bag without caring what you’re there to experience, it’s breeding a group of folks who want to learn about what’s making them move.
Ending the festival at The Works for the Anthology party was the icing on the cake of a phenomenal weekend. The fam came together to support their very own Pittsburgh Track Authority at the Humanaut-curated stage, while recent Pittsburgh visitors Voices From the Lake held it down in the back room. The entire weekend had been leading up to this party, a collaboration between many heavy hitters, including The Bunker, Dirty Epic, Pittsburgh’s Humanaut and others. Amidst the sleepy eyes, nervous energy, barely functioning limbs and exhaustion, a sense of pride emerged. We were all exactly where we should be – ending this year’s Movement Festival supporting some of the underground dance music scene’s finest is an affair reserved for only the most loyal of followers, and we left there with little left to prove. Pittsburgh is finally making its impression on the map, and our crew is along for the ride.