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Dark Mofo: Zhu Review

Dark Mofo 2016 opened on the 12th of June – it would be a journey that can only be described as weird and beautiful. Hobart has firmly placed itself on the map, having one of the coolest, strangest, and most intriguing winter festivals in the world. Dark Mofo is unbeatable by any other city. On the opening night of the festival, Chinese American electronic musician, Zhu, graced Macquarie Wharf No. 2 (MAC2) with his musical presence.

The show was sold out on what was the coldest evening since August 2015, but people arrived in droves. The fire pots that were placed outside were hard to wriggle next to, but the party vibe kept people bopping!

The steep price of $79 and Mona’s solid reputation promised a incredible night. To be honest, it wasn’t as incredible as it could have been. First of all, because there were three thousand people packed in at MAC2, the doors were kept open, so it was freezing all night. This, of course, was unless you dared to enter the packed mosh pit, filled with glittered adolescents and people sporting glow sticks.

The lines for the bar were huge! I waited 20 minutes to be told they didn’t have soda for my gin, those who know me will understand how important soda is to my gin. So I settled for a glass of Moorilla Estate, which is a bit awks to dance around with. The lines for the toilets were also outrageous, and I even saw girls go into the boys loos! That’s desperation for you.

Of course, none of this is Zhu’s fault, but it did taint the vibe of the night.

Zhu’s set was very fun – he nailed all classics and got the crowd moving. Faded was a crowd favourite, everyone sung along to the chorus and got their hands moving along to the music. It was definitely the tune everyone was waiting for.

In The Morning was another crowd winner, and it got everyone bopping en mass. There was a lot of glow stick action in this song (I may have been guilty of this), and looking around, people’s grins represented the enjoyment they were having.

The tune Automatic uses some really cool electronic sounds and the light show for this track especially, was very enthralling. The whole of MAC2 were facing the stage watching the incredible show the lights provided.

When the set was finished, Hobart artist Eloise Cook said that she was “transported, I didn’t feel like it was in Hobart anymore. It was like being in a different city”.

Mainlander Gemma Parker, summed up the experience quite well, “The music was pleasurable, but slightly underwhelming. Having tubes, the vibes were sweet and the company made it worthwhile. However, I could have been happily outside of the music. The beats were just a bonus.”

I’m not an audio expert, but the sound was pretty clear to my untrained ear. You could hear it a mile off… literally. This is definitely a positive, you didn’t leave with your ears pounding from the loud beats.

All in all, a fun night out that gave us Dark Mofoer’s something different to experience on a Tassie winter evening. I would do it again, but next time, would hope it was improved with the fundamentals of more toilets and bars.

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