How does one emit vibrancy from the dark? What is it to create clarity from the obscure? However metaphorical these questions may be, Meow Wolf answered them in the bluntest way possible with their Dark Palace exhibit in Denver this past week.


With Dark Palace, Meow Wolf (New Mexico’s modern-psychedelic utopia) successfully threw the party of the year, transforming Denver’s National Western Complex into a sprawling maze of sights and sounds. Marketed as “a dance Obscura in Denver”, the event catered to fans of electronic dance music and psychedelic art alike. Over the course of the weekend, attendees danced through a world of colors and textural sounds, indulging their senses on every level.


The music for the first night of Meow Wolf Dark Palace was tinged toward the house and trance direction, giving the opening night an extra touch of liveliness. Each set was equally as mesmerizing as the last. Top-tier performers such as Oonah Dahl and MK kept the night brimming with energy while headliner Claude Von Stroke held the crowd in the palm of his hand. The constant movement and energy felt within the crowd was a special experience for all, including the staff and performers.


Nights 2 and 3 of the event offered up an eclectic pallet of bass, dubstep, and house music, with top names such as Charles the First, Dirt Monkey, and Late Night Radio. In between pummeling performances on both the main and side stages, attendees scattered the concourse, wandering through hallways and rooms decorated to match the Dark Palace theme. Creative installations could be seen in every direction, as curated by some of the top modern-artists in the game such as John Medina, Collin Parson, and Chelsey Crandell.


If Dark Palace is any indication of what is to come with the permanent Denver installation (opening 2021), the excitement could not be more real.

Photos and Review by Jason Myers


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