I'm more into an Una Mas, roxy Blu, Gypsy Co-op kind of vibe, but after receiving my friend's e-mail about an event at Fluid Lounge on Thursday, May 13, dubbed Payback - arrive before 11 pm, the promo says, and receive $10! - I have to admit I was a li'l enticed. As someone who works in advertising, I'm wary of promos offering money. "What's the catch?" are usually the first words that come to mind. But there's also a promise of "complimentary champagne, cocktails and strawberries/whipped cream" as well as special performances by Canadian hiphop artists Choclair, IRS and Brassmunk. "No gimmicks, no strings attached." It sounds like an event - until we actually get there.
My friend and I arrive at 10:40 pm. Surprisingly, there's no real lineup, so I'm finding it odd that it's taking the bouncer 20-plus minutes to let us in.
Inside, security and the cashier tell us the cover charge is $10. I scoff.
"You're kidding, right? What time is it?"
"It's 11:03," the cashier tells me. It turns out the cash tap was shut off at 11:01 pm.
In no mood to argue, we pay the 10 bucks. We figure we were planning to go out anyway and can still catch a live show, so it's all good.
But when we walk in, there are barely 60 people.
No free cocktails or strawberries and whipped cream as advertised either. A voracious crowd, perhaps.
So, sitting in a near-empty club, we grab a drink, assuming the promised "special performances" are forthcoming.
The club announces that Choclair is in the house, and one member of IRS appears, but guess what? No show. They aren't "performing," they're just making a "special guest appearance."
(Contacted by NOW later, Fluid manager Vito Boragina apologizes to anyone who misinterpreted the flyer as promising performances by Choclair, et al. They were only there to MC the night. As for waiting in line, he can't explain how that could have happened since it would have been in his interest "to get as many people as possible in the club so they could spend the $10" promised at the door. "Sounds a bit like sour grapes," he adds.)
As I walk out of the bar $10 poorer and a little wiser in the slippery ways of advertising, I can't help thinking that Payback is a bitch.