Club Grave Beat at Til-Two, San Diego, CA, 5/12/2023

San Diego has a very respectable track record for the clubs in its dark music scene. With nights like Sabbat, Ascension, and Rapture leaving black-clad local fans spoiled for choice of nights to dance and socialize to their cold dead heart’s content, it’s nice to see there’s still room for up-and-coming club nights to carve their own unique niche.

So I was delighted to hear that Errol Fritz (of New Skeletal Faces) and DJ Grimm Beatz threw their hats into the ring with Grave Beat, an all-Deathrock night at the Til Two club.

I’m no stranger to Goth, Industrial and Post-Punk, so it was a rewarding breath of fresh air to have a night that’s dedicated to a sound that, in my opinion, still goes underrepresented in this town. I mean, how many clubs can you hear The Misfits and Fad Gadget in the same DJ set?

There’s several clubs in San Diego alone that offer that intersection between Goth, Punk, and even Metal. And even if Grave Beat shares that intersection, it’s on a different corner. The vibe was definitely unique on this night. Styles overlapped and melded in a way that seemed to have something for everyone.

The crowd was made up of faces I hadn’t seen a million times before and everyone seemed to be on the same page; dancing to tunes that have dancefloor appeal but without the usual untz-untz-untz vibe. The “snug” confines of Til Two make for a cozy (and often sweaty) sense of fellowship. Everyone seemed to be having a ball dancing to the likes of Bowie, Love & Rockets, and Ministry as well as TSOL, and – of course – Christian Death; along with lesser-known bands that make Deathrock such a fun genre.

The all-vinyl set made for some awkward segues at times, going from a frantic moshing pace to grooving slickness with eclectic abandon. But the crowd rolled with the changeups in stride as many just seemed to enjoy the musical catharsis.

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By evening’s end, I knew I wanted more. After asking around, I found out that this was Grave Beat’s inaugural and possibly sole night. With no promise of a follow-up, I managed to catch Errol Fritz and ask if Grave Beat will become a regular part of Til Two’s monthly rotation of hip events.

“Do you want it to?” He answered teasingly. I answered with a resounding yes.

Grave Beat was the kind of intimate but lively club that I enjoy, with a music selection that went deeper into the vault of bands beyond the same old same old.

With Southern California being the birthplace of Deathrock, Grave Beat would be a very welcome addition.

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