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Mo Pop roars back to life after 3-year break at new Hart Plaza home

The Mo Pop Festival settled into its new home at Hart Plaza on Saturday, filling downtown Detroit with an eclectic array of sounds on the riverfront.

British band Glass Animals — much more prominent now than during its 2016 Mo Pop appearance — closed out Saturday’s bill with an ebullient 75-minute, 13-song set drawing heavily from the hit album “Dreamland.”

The much-awaited performance by Dave Bayley and company was marred only by a conspicuously subdued sound mix, soft enough that it was easy to hear fan conversations several feet away. Crowd chants of “turn it up!” and “louder, louder!” rang out between songs, although they didn’t seem to register with the band itself.

A Mo Pop spokesperson later told the Free Press the audio problems were at least caused by an “engineering hiccup.”

Dave Bayley, the lead vocalist for Glass Animals, performs on the Grand Stage in front of hundreds of people during the Mo Pop Festival 2022 at Hart Plaza in Detroit on Saturday, July 30, 2022.

About 15,000 descended on Hart Plaza for Mo Pop’s return, according to a fest official.

The boutique indie-rock and hip-hop fest was back from a three-year pandemic break while migrating a mile east from West Riverfront Park, where it had been staged since 2015. That site is being transformed into a multiuse park, and Mo Pop’s planned move to Historic Fort Wayne was nixed because of new preservation efforts there.

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