The Scene 

Downtown, John's Island, The Plex, The Break Room, and Pantheon

"And then I rode the zip line until the sun came up."

—-City Paper reporter Stratton Lawrence on the phone Monday, describing his late-night experience at the Skinful Halloween bash on Johns Island. If you left behind a sweet-ass monkey mask that sings "I'm Your Boogeyman," he's got it. Get in touch.

Whore or Gore?

Hands down, Halloween is my favorite time of year. It's the only holiday that still retains some of its magic no matter how old I get, and I love how Charleston teems with haunted houses, festivals, and parties celebrating all things spooky. After waiting 'til the last minute to choose a costume, I ran all over town on Saturday trying to find the perfect one, growing more and more frustrated with each store I visited. Why is the men's side of the store filled with funny/gory/creepy Halloween costumes, while the women's side has been replaced by a lingerie shop complete with the full line of Playboy-brand shoes? I settled on an admittedly boring cowgirl get-up from stuff I already had in my closet and headed downtown to hit up some of the Halloween parties, but my mood continued to sour. The sidewalks were packed with revelers waiting to get into the bars, but while the costume of choice for men seemed to be a dapper polo shirt-and-jeans combo (in other words, no costume at all), the majority of women were scurrying around in whatever T&A-baring sexy-pirate/fairy/cop outfit they picked up at the store. Don't get me wrong. I'm not a prude, but the whole Vivid-Video vibe nearly killed the Halloween spirit for me. To keep it alive, I turned around and headed home to watch a scary movie instead. Maybe tonight will be different? —Erica Jackson

The Naked Truth

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Let it be known: Brian King knows how to throw one hell of a party. After getting publicly booted from the spot he'd reserved along Joe Rivers Road on James Island for his 6th Annual Skinful Halloween, King managed to set up no less of a spectacle at a secluded, woodsy location on Johns Island. Although none of the public nudity so feared by the James Islanders ever came about, over 500 revelers boogied down amongst three tents of music. The TBC Brass Band got everybody shaking after midnight, but DJ Logic's 2 a.m. set was the real dance floor jiver. The zipline running through the party had folks giddily flying through the air all night, under a six-foot wide disco ball suspended from a tree. "Props to the sheriffs, who were really flexible and could have broken it up a lot earlier," says King (The police closed it down at 4:30 a.m.). "And a big thanks to the residents of Joe Rivers community for all the publicity." —Stratton Lawerence

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Trailer Trashed
The Break Room hosts the White Trash Bash

The festivities never quite got out of hand at the Break Room's White Trash Bash Halloween costume ball on Saturday, but the patrons were definitely having a big time trying to out-redneck each other — there were some who resembled the cast of Mama's Family and others who looked like the criminals on COPS. The usually ornate sports bar and restaurant in north Mt. Pleasant redecorated its main room with filthy "trailer trash" laundry lines clothes-pinned with ripped panty hose, oversized brassieres, and weird underclothing.

Throughout most of the bash, half of the patrons stayed glued to the TVs, watching either game three of the World Series or the Carolina/Tennessee game. The other half danced, head-banged, and staggered around to the rhythms and riffs of rock band The Hed Shop Boys. Led by guitarists Frank Royster and Bryn Wilson (pictured above), the hard rock act delivered both the heaviest and most melodic of rock hits with equal skill.

The most amusing aspect of the gig was watching the band perform in their full get-ups. Royster looked the funniest in a mullet wig, black leather vest, and ill-fitting spandex. Somehow, his blue-sparkle ax fit the whole look. Wilson looked the most frightening, donned in his normal stage clothes, gnarled cowboy hat, and Kiss/Alice Cooper face paint. Bassist Julian Volpe played a dead-on Austin Powers, replete with wig, a mod-friendly suit, and gnarly fake choppers. In addition to the standard, trashier bar-band fare, the Boys played dynamic renditions of Zep's "What Is and What Never Should Be," the Steve Miller's "Swingtown," Elvis Costello's "Allison," and Wings' "Maybe I'm Amazed" — unexpected treats in the midst of a wild show. —T. Ballard Lesemann

Bumping into Britney
Hot bods and creepy couples at Pantheon

Halloween at Pantheon, Charleston's gay dance club, included the regular barely clothed dudes (of varying degrees of hotness) and celebrity-inspired drag queens, but on this occasion nearly everyone else in the bar was wearing some type of costume. Contest winners included a girl dressed as that chick from The Fifth Element (a little dated for my taste) and an undead couple that went all out on the makeup and outfits. Guys in swimwear or decorative underwear were legion, but the best were a hunky gladiator and a shirtless McDreamy. Best costume of the night was a Britney drag queen who pulled her wig off in the middle of the night to sport the bald-Britney look. Priceless. I bumped into her in the bathroom and asked why she didn't enter the $1,000 costume contest. She groggily told me that she was at the bar getting a drink. Talk about immersing yourself in character. —Greg Hambrick

Photos from Pirates of the Scaribean costume contest at the Plex

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