Hitting Denver hard, Meow Wolf took over the National Western Complex to an almost sold out crowd. The event was large enough to accommodate everyone without feeling too crowded which can be huge when attending a show. Totally embodying the feel of old school warehouse raves, this was a fully submersible experience with interactive action and insane amounts of musical talent to gently caress all of your senses.
It was easy to get lost here for three solid days, taking in all that was around me laid out in such a beautiful visual spectrum. Option 4 opened the Hall stage up and had everyone moving to his beats. As the owner and operator of Hot Boi Records, this is another fire act to keep your eyes on. He has been all over this past year so it would be a shock if you haven’t heard his name by now. An influential key player in the local Denver music scene, Brennen has played with many major recording artists collaborating on quite a few tracks, adding to his list of amazing accomplishments. Tonight was no different from any other night I’ve watched him play, slayed every single note and the crowd never stopped hopping to the sweet, sweet music.
Shortly after his set, I had the pleasure of chatting with one of the newest additions to Dirtybird Records, the one and only Steve Darko. A talented producer, Steve just recently signed up as one of the DB Players back in May, Claude dropped his track during his own set at Miami Music Week making him an instant hit. His most recent single “That’s Hot”, a collab track w/his girlfriend Big J is tearing up the dance floor and he is on cloud 9, beaming as he greets me backstage for our interview. Collaborating w/Sacha Robotti on a new EP set to be released on Dec 9, Steve talks about growing up playing guitar and bass as early as 12 years old. Being a musician from such a young age, he worked his way into production about 10 years ago and more into the DJ side of things around 7 years ago. Outside of music, Steve works as a software engineer in his free time which is about 4 days out of the week leaving his weekends free for playing sets. Transitioning his musical style from trap to house through the years, he is always expanding his sound to tantalize the eardrums. “Music makes me happy, to make others happy with my music is an amazing thing”. I couldn’t have said that any better. With a new track set to release in February called “East to West” on Hot Boi Records, Steve seems to have his hands in so much right now with still so much more to look forward to!
The night finished up with a killer set from Claude VonStroke himself. Dropping his latest collab track “Jolene”, he had the whole crowd on fire, me included. There was no way I could pass up Papa Claude’s set and the stunning set display that Meow Wolf provided only sealed the deal on this most epic night… and this was only night one!
Onto night two… wow, can I just say the turnout for this event was spectacular. Everyone was in their top festival gear, bringing along their flow items and totems creating the proper vibe for the weekend. There was plenty of space to lounge or dance in, places to chat with your friends or watch a stunning visual performance by one of the aerial artists that were there throughout the nights. With the music pumping from anywhere you walk, you could easily go from room to room with the ease of talking casually as you go. There were a few downfalls to the show, the coat check was typically sold out by 9pm leaving you with no chance of having a safe place to store your coat. I use the term safe loosely though as I had something stolen from my jacket by a worker while stored “safely” in coat check, another something I hope is fixed by the next show, maybe a background check for the workers and more than 9 coat racks for a cold, nighttime Colorado rave would be nice. Outside of that I could find no flaws in this production. The art was fabulous to walk through though I spent little time there, the music was the main focus so I tended to float between the two stages maximizing my experience to the fullest!!
Night three and boy am I ready to sleep! What an amazing three days this has been but holy smokes I am happy it is over. That’s usually how anyone feels after a warehouse party such as this but as an attendee if I’m this tired, I could only imagine how tired the production team is after working much harder this full weekend. Sunday night capped with another one of Denver’s major talents, Dirt Monkey, Known for more of his dubstep vibes, he had a lot of the crowd head banging along to his beats filling out the night nicely and providing a smooth exit point for me to leave. I was more than thrilled to have this chance to experience not only one but all three days of Dark Palace and I can’t wait to have another taste of what Meow Wolf provides. We will soon have a Denver location and I know many outside of just myself are super stoked for this location to open. Until then we will have to appreciate the pop ups and head down south to give the original location some action.
Thanks for the read peeps and as always stay tuned to Xposer Magazine, it’s where you go to be scene!
📷 Teddy G