Editor's Note: In an eerie (and downright unlucky) twist of fate, the freaky folks at Monsterland announced the impending closure of the Mesa spot this afternoon within hours of this blog's publication. See below for more info.
Editor's Note #2: In an even more bizarre twist, whoever's in charge decided on Wednesday night to reverse their decision and continue to have goth and industrial nights at their club. Again, see below for more info.
There wasn't much doom and gloom hanging in the air at Sanctum this past Friday evening, even though the sound system was blasting dark mixes of industrial music and heavier sounds being spun up by DJs like Apollynon and Aeternum on the decks.
In fact, the mood was anything but inside the church-like dance den as its patrons - many of which were clad in black (natch) - conversated in energetic fashion, slipped away to darkened corners for some secluded snogging, or grinded to tracks by Icon of Coil, Front 242, and Apoptygma Berzerk.
The convivial atmosphere of the evening, however, belied the gloomy reason they were all gathered at the club: It might have been one of the final goth and industrial nights that would take place at Sanctum.
In case you're not up on all the scuttlebutt that's been swirling around Sanctum in recent weeks, and the fate of the quirky dance parlor is pretty uncertain right now. There's been many rumors spoken by DJs and those in the scene regarding its possible transformation into a new nightlife joint or some entirely different business venture, all of which are unconfirmed and largely speculative.
As a result of the Sanctum's murky future, the goth and industrial DJs that embraced the place after it first opened back in 2009 -- and have held numerous dance parties at the nightclub and over the past few years -- are moving their nights to other locales.
To wit: The duo of Defense.Mekanizm and Self.Destrukt are taking their industrial music affair :Fallout.Shelter: to The Rogue Bar in Scottsdale, where it will go down on the fourth Friday of every month.
Apollynon, on the other hand, will be relocating monthly dance events and theme parties Black Mass (the old school goth and synthpop party he runs with Aeternum) and TekNoir (a harsh electro/industrial night where he spins alongside //SHE// from Sadisco*)
over to haunted house/nightclub Monsterland in Mesa. The goth crowd was busy all evening celebrating what could be one of Sanctum's last jags of darkly entrancing dance music this past Friday.
Update: As we mentioned above, Monsterland's owners announced earlier today that they're giving the grim reaper treatment to the place next weekend, which -- suffice it to say -- nixed any of Apollynon's plans of holding goth nights there, save for a special edition of Black Mass on January 18 that's still taking place as of this writing.
A few hours after that, Apollynon got news that the rumored reboot that was potentially happening at Sanctum was being put on hold and that he was asked to DJ this weekend. More details about this can be found here.
The night was dubbed "Sanctum Reunion" and featured special appearances by many of the DJs who have spun at the club in recent years, including Angel Toxin, //SHE//, and Beautiful John. (Sadly, goth scene favorite noiz.fkr wasn't able to make it due to illness.)
Aeternum, a longtime member of the scene dating back to his days spinning with Dark Soul Dealer during the infamous Black Coffee night at the now-defunct Counterculture Café, also performed. He also came not to bury Sanctum but instead to praise it.
"It was a great place to call home," he told Up on the Sun that night. "For me, it's been right down the street but is also an incredibly beautiful club. It was very welcoming of our scene, it very intimate for its size [and] it had a great sound system. It's been like the gothic Cheers, where everybody knew your name."
While we were busy trying to cleanse our mind of images of Ted Danson and George Wendt wearing black pleather, nipple clamps, and pasty makeup, Aeternum mentioned how having to find a new home is nothing new to the scene.
After all, before the goth crowd came to Sanctum in the past few years, they flocked to Palazzo for the old Tranzylvania night or numerous other venues, many of which have been laid to the grave (like the original incarnation of the Nile in Mesa or The Atomic Café in Scottsdale.
"There were a few clubs for goth after the Nile Theate shut down. You had Boston's, Incognito Lounge, or the Mason Jar, which was a big one with its night The Killing Jar," Aeternum says. "The Atomic Cafe had industrial nights, they had pure goth nights, they ran he whole gamut of the alternative/dark/underground scene. There were nights for every sub-genre. This is nothing new."
At the same time, he's sad to leave Sanctum, as is Apollynon. The 33-year-old closed out the night on the decks and even donned a latex unicorn head for his spin session. Later, he provided us with an epitaph for the club.
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"As a long time member of the local goth/industrial scene, both as a participant and as a DJ I have spent more than my far share of times in clubs. Sanctum and Friday night in particular holds a spot near and dear to me," Apollynon says. "From within its dark church atmosphere I have watched the scene have a place to call home. It gave me a chance to build and grow my night and watch others do the same. While we will move on, we will always miss what Sanctum was."
See who else was in attendance at "Sancum: Reunion" by checking out this week's Club Candids slideshow.