Immersive experiential company Meow Wolf took over Denver’s National Western Complex last night for a state-of-the-art psychedelic musical journey deemed, Meow Wolf Dark Palace.
The Santa Fe-based company curated a three-day immersive and interactive event in Denver’s historical 600,000-square foot venue for a weekend musical trip through the realms of sound and space. The three-day event featured a lineup of electronic artists that took attendees to the depths of their inner consciousness to explore creativity and challenge the norms of society.
Meow Wolf did indeed take the massive complex to its full advantage and turned it into a whole new dimension of interactive space, leaving no part of the multi-room venue untouched. Centering around the theme “Rave Against the Dying of the Night”, the weekend event gave Denver a sneak peek of Meow Wolf’s permanent grand opening in 2021.
Meow Wolf Events Art Director Sofie Cruse said in a recent interview, “[Curated warehouse raves] are something that’s kind of, like, rare these days. It’s not something that is as open or as accessible. I think that that’s one thing that we’re really trying to pull out for Dark Palace, is this feeling of a minimal but maximal space. And yeah, to just dance.”
After the kickoff evening on Friday with Claude VonStroke, MK, Guy Gerber, and more, thousands of curious residents flooded the complex last night for night two of the psychedelic warehouse party.
Walking into the venue, the massive space was lit up with dark luminescent lighting and hanging disco balls, turning the connecting hallways of each room into a groovy disco party. A comfy psychedelic chill zone was accompanied in the middle of the connecting main room, adorned with fractal, multi-colored glass lighting fixtures that radiated off each wall. Glow chairs, couches, and pillows created a calm, creative space for any attendee who had stumbled upon the area to take a moment to dive into their inner consciousness of exploration and creativity. As the venue quickly began to fill up around 9 p.m., black shadow dancers and a Chinese dragon delved from the depths of the venue, mystifying attendees and peaking more creative expression of dance and art throughout Denver’s music scene.
Two stages hosted music throughout the night, ranging from funky, uplifting house beats, to deep and dark bass grooves that shook your soul. Denver-based producer NADASOUND kicked off the evening’s musical trip on the Hall Stage at 7:30 p.m., while future bass producer VCTRE ignited the Main Stage at 8:15 p.m. After a funky dance-heavy, hour-long set by Denver duo LYFTD on the Hall Stage, Alex Medellin took over the Main Stage at 10 p.m. for some sultry, soulful bass rhythms. Under his moniker Late Night Radio, he spun his original funky electronic tracks, and invited Brisco Jones onstage for some live scratching collaborations over his ambient beats from their recent November Vinyl Restoration, Vol. 8 release. Hanging light fixtures and speakers hung from the sky-high, spherical ceiling, the beautifully-crafted wooden architecture bringing together all of Denver’s varying cultures at the high peak. At the same time, Denver producer Mikey Thunder kept the party going on the Hall Stage with some deep groovy dance anthems.
Diving deeper into the immersive warehouse rave, hidden rooms were found by the most curious of attendees to expand the mind and creative artistry that holds near and dear to Denver’s music and art scene. AudioPixel, Chelsey Crandell, Collin Parson, Denver Digerati, The Girls of Denver Kiki Sessions, Rainbow Militia, Werk Out Palace, and many more collaborating artists curated multi-dimensional mini rooms and interactive spaces, manipulating the spaces’ architecture with surreal and psychedelic art, paint, and video technology to take attendees on a real-life psychedelic playground and deeper into the creative spectrum.
A colorfully expressive fashion show among the luminescent scene opened up funky house female producer Megan Hamilton’s infinity set on the Hall Stage at 11:15 p.m. The innovative technology throughout the music scene showed its true colors on her stage setup, an infinity frame highlighting Hamilton as she dropped funky house bass grooves and hologram art and figures danced onstage. Hamilton took attendees to the outer realms of sound and space with her dripping, funky bass drops surrounding the parallel universe scene, increasing the space ride with her “Nunya” collaboration with Maddy O’Neal and ending her set with a “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “Superstitious” remix.
Out in the main room, Los Angeles-based producer Shlohmo performed an hour-long set of his hip-hop centered bass remixes for some differing electronic dance beats. The crowd was hyped and ready for the final performances of the night, Mile High live glitch-hop duo MASS RELAY taking over the Hall Stage at 12:30 p.m. with their future funk live instrumental rhythms. Headliner of the night and resonating the deep spaces of the Main Stage at the same time was experimental producer CharlesTheFirst. He slowly generated energy up into his 90-minute set with a mystical, creepy bass-resonating intro, then pulsated into his deep psychedelia bass hits that resonated and shook our souls to the core. Manned by Charles Ingalls, attendees blasted through the sonic realms of empty space with his poignant composition of heavy bass undertones and crunchy, organic hip-hop beats.
[Video: Live For Live Music]
Meow Wolf Dark Palace continues tonight for its final evening of creative exploration with Dirt Monkey, Shades, Of The Trees, Lauren Lane, Eli Escobar, Krystal Klear, Morgan G, and Meso. Denver is beyond blessed for the incredible music scene and creative artistry and expression that is so prominent throughout the city. This weekend was just a sneak peak of what’s to come from Meow Wolf’s permanent residency in the city in 2021, and we can’t wait. For more information and tickets to tonight’s event, head to the event website.
Below, you can view a whole gallery’s worth of photos of Saturday night’s Meow Wolf Dark Palace courtesy of photographer Ali Stinehour (Ali Jay Multimedia).