“Losing family obliges us to find our family. Not always the family that is our blood, but the family that can become our blood.”
Finding Forrester might have been on to something here. The Phoenix Goth haven of old, Tranzylvania, closed in the wake of local scenesters wondering where to go next—bewildered and uneasy. Sanctum and Monsterland were burning candles that came like winds and left like tornadoes faster than you could adjust your fishnet leggings or suck in enough for the corset to fit. The sanctuary these places provided was more than just a watering hole for alternative types—an undeniable community thrived and grew, tightly knit and woven like a single black fabric. A true family.
Resurrection is an apt title, and in a town called Phoenix no less. The ashes had all but disappeared, providing the dance floor for a gaggle of Goths and rivetheads. It is a sight to behold: all the hugging, enthusiastic cheering, excitement, and hordes of black-clad dancers. The flyers and Facebook events only provide a surface level of what can be found, with all of the promotion, music, and models. To dance to the music is to feel the beat, but to look out onto the floor and see rows of smiling teeth for miles is to understand the unity of the scene. Beneath the surface of the distorted beats and murderous vox, there is an undeniable atmosphere of love, a camaraderie openly embraced and outspoken. The people underneath black trench coats and steel-toed boots are the lifeblood flowing through a culture that most dismiss as a teenage phase. In the midst of carefree ecstasy and a profound sense of belonging, it’s pitiful to think that so much (black?) magic just logically fades at the gate of adulthood.
At a purely romantic level, Resurrection is the cement holding the century-old Gothic aesthetic together, though perhaps with forlorn and hopeless not turned all the way up to 11. Couples stayed together and saliva exchanged in accordance to preference, but the love was there, slithering below the radar enough to keep from cheesing the place up, but high enough to be celebrated as if Tranzylvania had never left.
That is perhaps the real story of Resurrection: the merriment of a culture, the passion for the community, and the spreading of the kind of unity the masses reject. In essence, family. Lost but found, over and over.
Am I 21 yet?
– Zander Buel