As COVID-19 restrictions are easing up around the country, many people are still hesitant to return to nightlife and performances, as upsetting as that loss is. But without those same COVID restrictions, we wouldn’t have Eschaton, the Zoom-based digital nightclub that gives guests an hour of mystery, world-class performances, and a sense of electric normalcy in a time that’s anything but normal.
Eschaton recently relaunched for a new season, and I was lucky enough to get to attend the opening night performance. It’s tempting to simply say “this is so cool, this is so cool, this is so cool” throughout this piece, but it’s more exciting to hear about (and freak out over) how unique and unforgettable the show really is.
When you enter Eschaton, a video introduction invites you to “go down the rabbithole,” and that’s one of the best ways to describe the experience. Throughout the night, you can choose from 16 colorful doors that lead you to different Zoom calls, and you get an hour to explore Eschaton before the grand finale, where one of the night’s fan-favorite acts gets a spotlight performance.
Part of what makes Eschaton so special is the array of performers they recruit, ranging from well-known personalities like drag queen Brita Filter, to a man with a rat mask playing a tiny piano, to a guy named Iggy singing karaoke versions of your favorite throwback hits. Eager to see a little bit of everything, I stopped into each room throughout the night, and there were so many interesting acts and unforgettable talents. The performers often interact with “club-goers” who have their cameras and mics on, making the show more immersive and ensuring that no night at Eschaton is identical.
While the performances take place, your chat box might show mysterious disappearing messages that point you to secret rooms. One of these hidden rooms is an interactive backstage area, where viewers can click on a journal and read the innermost thoughts of one of the performers. The chat tries to work together to solve the puzzle and find out more about the story, but it’s not guaranteed that you’ll learn anything more – even with several people discussing the journal and trying to decode a mysterious ad for a psychic, my night’s group didn’t get to the bottom of the story. It’s very tempting to return and give it another shot!
Another unique aspect of Eschaton is how eccentric it is, as well as how well it adapts to pandemic-era mindsets. The hosts encourage guests to dress up and invite friends to simulate the traditional nightclub experience, while the show revels in the awkwardness of Zoom, calling on audience members for various questions and even inviting them on a home scavenger hunt during the afterparty. Even through a screen, there’s a camaraderie between audience members that makes even newcomers feel like they’re part of a tight-knit community.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Eschaton, and hopefully you’ll get a chance to join in the experience! You can buy tickets on TicketTailor, and follow Eschaton on Instagram for more peeks into this mysterious digital world. The show takes place on Saturday nights from 10-11 PM Eastern, and the afterparty follows to offer guests some additional entertainment.
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