Live Review: Dark Mofo - ZHU, Oscar Key Sung, Kucka

12 June 2016 | 12:23 am | Catherine Delpero

"Bring on the dark."

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The official opening party of a festival that has become synonymous with all things wintery, nighttime, slightly confronting and a little quirky can be summed up with two words: glow sticks.

The Dark MOFO festival kicked off with a warehouse-style dance party that was packed out predominantly by Hobart locals willing to brave the cold to see one of the biggest dance acts kicking around at the moment, ZHU.

The sell-out event was a testament to the MONA and Dark MOFO team who have revived Hobart from a sleepy ghost town over winter into a thriving arts scene that is unique to Tasmania and now getting a lot of attention all over the world.

The three main acts on the night, Kucka, Oscar Key Sung and headliner ZHU, all brought their own unique styles and did not disappoint the crowd who were keen to get their dance on. Perth producer and vocalist Kucka delivered an impressive set of moody electronica, her live vocals soaring out across the MAC2 warehouse with a sugary sweetness and light that rarely holds up in such a big space.

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Melbourne artist Oscar Key Sung was slightly more on the atmospheric side of dance but had the audience transfixed with slow grooves and mesmerising visuals on the huge screen on stage.

ZHU had the crowd begging for more by the time the ugly lights were up.

The audience was ready to step it up a gear once the hooded producer ZHU plus a full band launched into their pop-driven live dance set. This is when the glow sticks appeared out of nowhere, people were covered from head to toe. Dark MOFO became a source of light and warmth, ZHU kept his mysterious image going while whipping out bright and fun tracks like Faded and Automatic which even got the crowd singing along.

Live guitars, saxophone solos and thumping covers like Gun from Chvrches and Insomnia from dance gods Faithless had the crowd begging for more by the time the ugly lights were up. All that was left to do was move as one seething beast out into the night, eager to discover what other delectable tasty morsels Dark MOFO will put on offer for the rest of the festival. Bring on the dark.