Though it was into the wee hours of Saturday morning by the time it happened, the previous day’s bad luck must have rubbed off on the Friday the 13th Massacre.
Just after 2 a.m., the Island Bar & Grill in Surfside closed up shop for the evening before headliners The Classic Struggle could perform.
“We’ve been shut down during a set before. But never before we went on.” said The Classic Struggle guitarist Chris Grant.
“I’d play out here [in the parking lot] if I could,” said drummer TJ Bailey.
While a disappointed crowd of more than 275 paying attendees — and another 100-plus who had been waiting outside in the parking lot — stayed around trying to find out whether TCS would be able to play, the crew inside the bar made the call to halt the event.
“They had someone complain about people drinking out in the parking lot,” said Mark “Fletch” Fletcher, Island Bar bartender and booking manager. “So the cops showed up.”
Three Horry County officers watched over the parking lot as the crowd slowly began to disperse as members of TCS and bar staff circulated the news that the band would not play.
The officers said they had been called to a report of people urinating and drinking in the parking lot.
“Who was playing tonight, The Classic Struggle?,” asked one officer. “Well that’s no surprise.”
According to Fletcher, the bar could have chosen to bring the crowd inside, but that would have put Island Bar over the number of people allowed inside.
“It’s just about capacity,” he said.
Though the majority of fans were upset but understanding of circumstances at hand, word circulated that a few who felt cheated of their chance to see the final band had demanded their money back. While TCS lead singer Tim Zlinsky and other band members graciously worked to appease their angered fans, others expressed their disgust with the lack of support shown by those asking for a refund.
“If people are their fans and they are worried about five fucking dollars — which is a beer and a tip — that’s ridiculous,” said Crystal Elliot.
For her the night’s biggest disappointment was missing the music, not the money.
“I don’t care about the money, it’s not their fault they didn’t get to play,” she said.
But despite the sour taste left in many fans’ mouths, the evening wasn’t all bad.
The night began well with an enthusiastic crowd taking in performances from local favorites Take Cover and Flick-It, as well as the debut performance by Maryland-based Us & Them, a band formed from past members of Island Bar regulars Count Your Blessings.
Shortly after the clock struck midnight , however, the residual effects of Friday the 13th began to become evident. During a Prowler set which included horror-metal favorites such as “The Dead Rise Again” and — of course — ”Friday the 13th,” drummer Jak Sumwalt had a blowout on his snare drum.
“I guess I hit it so hard that the plastic cover on the bottom popped right off,” he said. “All the years I’ve been doing this, that has never happened to me.”
Though the show went on with Sumwalt borrowing a drum from Take Cover’s set, things continued to go awry after that.
About 1:15 a.m. punk band Jerk & Destroy took the stage for a rare reunion performance.
The band, featuring members of Sharklegs and Take Cover as well as other longtime local players, charged through a raucous set which had the crowd inside singing along to its angsty choruses with plenty of pushing and moshing near the stage.
However, in the midst of its energetic set, the clock caught up with the band and caused them to cut their show short.
“We had about 5 or 6 more songs we could have done,” said bassist Jon Cornell.
“At least we did a reunion,” said guitarist Ed Tanner. “I kinda wish I wouldn’t have played at all.”
But even with all the mishaps and misfortune, the exciting evening definitely showed signs of life for the area’s local music scene and perhaps just served to build excitement for The Classic Struggle’s next show with Hundredth June 4 at the Peanut Warehouse in Conway.