Every month or so, the Twin Cities’ tight-knit techno, goth, and new/synth/cold-wave scenes come together to dance the pain away at Grant Mayland’s Dark Energy party. Launched in early 2016 by the California-born, Minneapolis-raised DJ/promoter, the underground hub draws a diverse crowd of young and old revelers—kind of like a cross between Chicago’s seminal Wax Trax! era and new-school nights like Synthicide and Part Time Punks.
Long held at Kitty Cat Klub, Dark Energy recently moved a few doors down to Dinkytown’s Loring Bar & Restaurant. Which sounds a little strange on paper—the restaurant normally hosts weddings, galas, and corporate gatherings—but works out well once the sun goes down, the mood lighting kicks in, and its soaring ceilings, fake trees, and wide open spaces take on fantastical undertones.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that Mayland’s loose collective of artists and musicians share his vision, from local DJs like Angelica Ottavia, Bleak Roses, and the Gothess collective to national acts like Adult., Boy Harsher, and Light Asylum, pictured here. The long-dormant project of singer/producer Shannon Funchess held a packed room in the palm of her hands in March 2019 with the gloomy, industrial-tinged grandeur of such breakout singles as “Shallow Tears,” “Dark Allies,” and “A Certain Person.”