Wake The Dead at the Milk Bar

On Sept. 15, there was a refreshing breeze in the night air, a welcome change from
the 80-degree heat Colorado has been experiencing and Broadway became wet from the unforeseen rain storm, gleaming like obsidian. It was as good a night as any to attend a funeral-themed party at Milk Bar.

Wake The Dead was started by goth power couple Natalie and Anthony Gasich and is the only (and best) Gothic and Death Rock night in Denver. The night was DJ’d by The HoodBats and Dutch who played everything from Q Lazarus’ “Goodbye Horses” to Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”

“It’s a great little family to be a part of,” Natalie Gasich said about the Goth & Deathrock community in Denver, who always find a place to congregate in Milk Bar. Like vampire bats, the attendees did not arrive before 11 p.m., perhaps to ensure the smallest exposure to the sun as possible.

The room colloquially known as “The Industrial Room” was adorned with glowing crosses, hanging bats, dripping candles, skulls, and anything else that could be found in the Halloween section of a department store. Among the dark corners of the biggest room in Milk Bar was an upright coffin. No, it wasn’t just there for decoration. The party-goers each patiently stepped into the coffin, struck a pose, and had their photo taken. The brilliance of Wake The Dead did not just stop at a coffin photo booth—there was also a 12-foot-tall grim reaper lurking about the club giving anyone and everyone a little glimpse at death personified.

Deathrock and Goth music are sub-genres of punk rock known primarily for elements of horror and gloomy theatrics. It emerged from the sunny West Coast of the United States in the early 1980s and quickly, albeit covertly, spread across the country. The quintessential Deathrock bands Christian Death and 45 Grave are known for pioneering the musical style and fashion. The Deathrock fashion affixed to lead singer of Christian Death, Rozz Williams, was perfectly emulated almost 40 years later. The Deathrock style can be described as androgynous with an emphasis on heavy makeup, “death-hawks” imagine a normal mohawk that is perfectly coiffed and with a lock of hair remaining by the ears and black clothing, of course.

For any Goth or Deathrockers, or people who just want a glimpse into the darkside, Wake The Dead is the perfect night to become immersed in the black waves of the gothic subculture or just simply dip a toe into it to test the waters.

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