HOTA, Home of the Arts will light up with WONDER this Spring, during its new program of contemporary art and sound, including blast from the past (with a hint of the future) NEON REMIX, an 80s dance party with a twist.
Eleven-day program WONDER, running from 29 October to 7 November, will celebrate the life of our furry canine friends through world exclusive and brand-new outdoor work by Melbourne-based art studio ENESS – ‘Lost Dogs Disco’ – featuring 16 large scale inflatable and interactive dog characters, as well as pawesome presentation ‘Let’s Be Friends Furever’, which we feature separately in this edition.
In addition, the event will play host to outdoor concert NEON REMIX on 6 November, supported by City of Gold Coast and Southern Cross University.
This ticketed music concert rounding out WONDER will throw back to a time where disco died, and post-punk of pop collided with new wave sounds to deliver a soundtrack to the 80s.
Fusing together art and music, the concert will deliver a lineup of the Gold Coast’s brightest neon-infused musos in a supergroup of contemporary New Wave Synth Classics under the creative mastermind of Blair Condon (Miss Lucy).
Featuring Blair himself, Mackenzie Brown (Miss Lucy), Matt McGuffie (Ivey), Ondre Davis (The Yams) and special guests, Millie Perks (Ivey), Tanisha Cook and Gemma Owens (The Oogars) as well as DENNIS., NEON REMIX is an 80s party like nothing else you’ve ever seen, Blair tells us.
“The way we’re going to be doing it is going to have the sound system set up as well as a traditional band setup,” he explains. “Different songs suit the different stage format better. The girls will be guest vocalists for about a quarter of the set time.”
The NEON REMIX team have crafted an intricate set up of 80s synths, keyboards and drum machines, that will be playing “live” through signals the team have partially pre-recorded on a laptop, as well as through real time electronic changes they’ll be making to the sounds of the instruments, and even some live instrument playing thrown in for good measure as well.
It’s quite a complicated and mind-boggling affair, and it’s unlikely that Gold Coast audiences will have experienced its ilk previously.
“I reckon it’d be nice to see a good mix of people in the audience,” muses Blair when we discuss original 80s vs the current 80s vibe resurgence.
“It’ll be cool to see people who grew up in the 80s come to the show and see what we can do to the songs.
I don’t think they’re going to know what to expect, especially in terms of the sound system part of the set which is what I’m most excited for, I don’t think many people have done this sort of thing before.
“I notice quite a bit of an eighties resurgence,” Blair continues.
“Especially in the last five years. I think ‘Stranger Things’ and the aesthetic in that has something to do with it. Even the biggest pop artists too, like The Weeknd, his latest song has instruments all from the eighties.
“It’s that plasticky sound. I think the 80s will stick around for a while because of the way that electronic music and pop music are currently morphing.”
As for why people should check out this fresh new event?
“I’d say it’s just something familiar yet fresh with this set. It’s a new twist on a covers show, it’s almost like a DJ set with not just the standard DJ setup.
“I hope people will have an open mind with what’s to come. The Gold Coast doesn’t get a lot of touring acts, even before COVID, and nothing like this sort of thing. Come with an open mind and be prepared to be surprised. It’s shaping up to be pretty cool.”
NEON REMIX hits the Outdoor Stage at HOTA, Home of the Arts on 6 November. Visit hota.com.au for all the WONDER-ful goodness on offer this Spring.