After COVID squashed my plans to venture to Australia’s deep south last year, the enticement of Dark Mofo‘s return in 2021 was too strong to resist and so here we are, representing Wall Of Sound at Hobart’s celebration of the Dark Arts and not knowing what to expect has been the general rule for this adventure into the unknown… So for those who have wanted to suss out what all the fuss was about, allow me to be your eyes and ears throughout the course of the next few days.
The first night certainly lived up to expectations…
A block of Hobart’s city has been blocked off so punters can venture around the hub of arts, shows, and exhibits which was officially kicked off with the opening ceremony – a home state reclamation walk from local indigenous peoples. Trees sprouting through the streets serve as a reclamation of land taken after colonisation. The groups of attendees braved the chilly weather and gathered in their masses to pay their respects to elders past, present, and emerging. There was a feeling of understanding from all involved and not a single person spoke during the entire performance.
Thurston Moore with The Dead C
Heading into the Odeon Theatre for the first concert of the festival, none of us knew what to expect. With COVID restrictions in place, we all had to take our seats and wait patiently in anticipation. The theatre, bathed in red lights set the tone for the evening as Sonic Youth icon Thurston Moore hit the stage alongside The Dead C for what can only be described as – an anxiety inducing display of organised chaos.
Having attended many heavy live shows in the past, I can safely say I’ve never witnessed what I laid eyes on last night. The experimental guitarist placed a drum stick underneath the strings of his instrument and just started maneuvering his fingers around the guitar to make any sort of sounds he could whilst a slow, yet domineering drum beat was played behind him. What followed was a non-stop descent into madness as the four-piece collectively jammed out on stage, with a droning tone-filled soundtrack that’s not only hard to explain, but uncomfortably intense to handle.
Judging by the looks and facial expressions of attendees, I don’t think any of us were prepared for this “world exclusive/Australian premiere” performance and if eerie and uncomfortable vibes were what the band were going for, they certainly delivered on that promise. As the saying goes, “it’s not my cup of tea” but luckily for us metal loving larrikins in attendance, we’ve got Lo! to look forward to tonight!
(ICYMI: Revisit my interview with frontman Sam Dillon for an insight into what we can expect when they hit the stage at the Odeon this evening!)
With plenty of art displays, creepy and alluring exhibits, and an abundance of laneways and secret nooks to explore, it would be a disservice to show you the event via mobile phone photos, so keep an eye on our socials for our live feed and stay tuned for our coverage over the next few days as we take you deep into Australia’s most bizarre festival.
Words by Paul ‘Browny’ Brown @brownypaul
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