I spent Friday the 13th attending Phantasmagoria, an event showcasing live dark music, bewitching entertainment and macabre vendors. It’s the creation of Rahne Pistor, founder of The Sixth Chamber, and it debuted in 2021 in Las Vegas. It’s continued to take place ever since in both Sin City and Los Angeles. The January 2023 edition was held at Knucklehead Hollywood in LA and featured performances by The Sixth Chamber and the legendary Eva O, as well as other beguiling amusements.
The venue is an intimate space that’s bathed in crimson light with the stage and bar immediately in sight as patrons enter. The event commenced with a special Edgar Allan Poe storybook hour presented by gothic model Mary Misery. The Victorian vamp did a reading of one of Poe’s works set to ominous music. On the outdoor patio, various vendors were set up selling all sorts of bizarre treasures, including dark art, metaphysical tools, jewels and dark fashion pieces.
The Sixth Chamber was the first to head on stage and perform their unholy rites. They delivered a high-octane show with their blend of gothic rock, doom, horror and metal sounds. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen them live, and their magic hasn’t diminished. The band takes their music to the next level by injecting it with sinister performance art. For the opening number, a skeletal entity mesmerized the audience with a Danse Macabre. Following, a beautiful belly dancer hypnotized the crowd with illuminated butterfly wings and sensuous moves. Then vocalist Rahne read from an ancient prophecy scroll proclaiming “The end is nigh!” By the end of the group’s set, the crowd was thoroughly charged.
Next was the enchanting Eva O who is a very prominent figure in the death rock scene and one of the progenitors of the goth music genre. In addition to starting her own punk and metal bands in the 80s, she was an integral part of Christian Death and started Shadow Project with the band’s vocalist Rozz Williams. She’s also produced several of her own solo projects.
Eva emerged on stage masked in a black veil. All was silent as her haunting vocals resounded throughout the space, entrancing onlookers. It was my first time seeing her live, so it was a special experience. Every gesture, from the way she plucked her guitar strings to how she swayed in between, evoked an eerie energy. She’s a powerful presence with a formidable voice designed to exorcise demons. Her performance was a ritual crying out from the bowels of a ravenous beast. Eva O tapped into a primal force that evening, and it was a wonder to behold. I’m grateful I had the fortune of meeting the artist herself before the night was over.
Luna 13, a black metal and industrial group, closed out the festivities, sustaining the macabre atmosphere with diabolic electro beats and occult vibes. Patrons continued to revel into the midnight hour and beyond.
I can’t think of a better way to have spent my first Friday the 13th of 2023. Phantasmagoria was also the first event I’ve attended this year. I had a wonderful time, and it was fantastic getting to witness live performances. This darkly enchanting affair happens annually in Los Angeles and Las Vegas with different band lineups and entertainment. Make sure to follow The Sixth Chamber for future event announcements.