Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 - A summary of my year

So my year has come to a close, and all my shows are done for the year. I must say, I was wary of starting my blog at the beginning of the year since I wasn't sure if I'd actually be able to keep up with it. But I am happy to say that, except for two smaller, non-blogworthy shows, I made an entry about every significant show I went to all year! So I just wanted to give a recap of my year, and hand out a few superlatives.

Overall best, most awesome show

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Despite going to many awesome shows this year, the U2 shows tops the list. I'd wanted to go see U2 in concert for about 20 years, so getting to mark something off of my bucket list is truly priceless. Between the enormity of the experience, the rarity of U2 shows, the experience of being so close and the AMAZING photos I got, this show definitely tops the list.

Most fun show

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Eventhough I somewhat knew what to expect going into my first ICP show, I really had no idea what to expect! This show was a mad house from the first second they came onstage, and left me giggling like a kid the entire time! We left soaked in Faygo and freezing cold, but overall, this was definitely the most fun show of the year!

Sleeper hit of the year


Honestly, I initially decided to go to the Hopsin show because my friends were going, and I wanted an excuse to hang out with everyone. But once I was there, I was treated to a full evening of great music. I got to see Stitchmouth for the first time, got entertained by SGF, got to watch white trash on parade during Lil Wyte's set, then was treated to a surprisingly awesome performance by Hopsin! I really didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did, but it was great!

Most disappointing show


From the moment I walked in, no one seemed to be excited about this show, including the performers. It was an ok show, but the crowd showed NO enthusiasm and ended up dragging down the entire show. It was ok, and I'm glad I went, but I won't be running back if I see Hinder announce another Nashville show.

Best "Out of my comfort zone" experience


The Gathering of the Juggalos
I slept in a tent, used port-a-potties, had no access to washing my hands after using said port-a-potties, stayed up until after 5am four nights in a row, wore my hair in a pony tail every day, and loved almost every second of it! Aside from a few obvious bummers (like getting beaned in the eye with the turkey leg), I had a blast at the Gathering, and am already planning on returning next year.

Best bang for my buck


Boondox in Daytona Beach
This show had 7 acts and only cost $7. Even if you include the roughly $25 I spent for the rental car for the night, it still comes in a heck of a lot cheaper than a lot of shows I went to this year!

So yeah...it was a great year. I don't have any tickets purchased for any shows in 2012 yet, but I'm still going to continue with my resolution to attend 12 shows in 12 months. Thanks to everyone for supporting my blog and reading my posts. As of posting time, I have 1509 views so far on my blog!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Boondox on the Beach, featuring Cousin Cleetus and more

Thursday, December 1st, 2011
Boondox, Cousin Cleetus, Mars, Miss Kisa, The DRP
Sickboy's Bad Habit Lounge, Daytona Beach, FL

It bears repeating that Boondox is one of my favorite music artists across all genres. I had really held out hope that he was going to be able to play at the Muse here in Nashville during his Low Down and Dirty tour, but ultimately that didn't work out (originally I got word that he wasn't booked, then a booking popped up on the Muse website, but then it disappeared again...rats!). So rather than risk missing the tour completely, I decided to take an evening away from my annual December Walt Disney World trip with my friends to head for the coast and catch his show in Daytona Beach.

I ended up booking a rental car at the Alamo inside the Dolphin hotel, which was convenient since I'd spent that morning in Epcot. I'd booked the cheapest car I could find since it was just going to be me, but since I'd arrived late in the day, the only vehicle they had left to give me was a Town and Country minivan! So on top of the omnipresent worry that something would happen to my rental car, I had the added worry that something would happen to my very expensive minivan while parked outside of a club full of Juggalos! haha


After a quick stop by my hotel to get changed and do some makeup, I hopped into my swanky whip and made the hour and a half drive to Daytona Beach.

All set to go!

I made a quick stop at Burger King, but I was really too excited to eat much. I found the venue very easily, and I'm sure that I looked really gangsta as I parked my minivan. Stupid me had forgotten to bring any cash to get into the club, but luckily the owner let me charge my admission at the bar.

The crowd when I arrived was less than enthusiastic. I'm used to Nashville shows, where most people know each other, and people just hang out in groups before the shows. But in Daytona, no one seemed to be speaking to anyone else. It was quite and empty, and no one seemed excited to be there. What a bummer! Despite everyone just sitting there looking bored, I headed right up to the barricade and staked out my spot, so I'd have a front row view of all the performances. While I stood there, a few people came and went, but no one spoke to me. There were even a couple of people who would yell "Whoop whoop!" and no one was responding except me! :-( Sad face.


The first people who played were Fur Elise, who were clearly hard rock, and were clearly oblivious about who they were opening for! At one point, the lead singer said "So who's playing tonight? What kind of crowd do we have tonight?" Oh Lord. Once a couple of people yelled out that we were Juggalos, the guy replied with "Juggalos? Is that right?" I mean for real...why would the venue book them without giving them the first clue about who they were opening for? They really weren't that bad, but should clearly have been opening for someone like Saliva instead of someone like Boondox!


Next up was a local guy whose name I didn't catch. He did a pretty good job, though I'd swear that he was lip syncing at certain points. Most of the time, it sounded like he was singing, but then sometimes I'd notice him take the mic away from his mouth, but his voice would keep singing.

So, is this was Jersey shore Juggalos look like?


Next up was Miss Kisa, who is a veteran of the Gathering and someone who gets a fair amount of support from Boondox himself. I'd honestly not listened to any of her music beforehand, but I was really impressed by her!


How she manages to perform in those heels, I'll never know


She's a badass chick, and is great at what she does. I must admit that it was a bit awkward being so close that I could see up her very-short skirt, but it's all good. I certainly hope that she plays the Gathering again so I can come out and show my support.


After Miss Kisa came The DRP. He was alright. A lot of flash and drama and enthusiasm, but at the end of the day, he just wasn't my thing.


Next up was Mars. I'm only vaguely familiar with Mars, and mainly his older stuff, so most of what he performed was new to me. But overall, it was a great performance.


He moved all around the stage, and made a lot of prolonged eye contact with the crowd. Good stuff.

After about three and a half hours and five other openers, it was finally time to get to my two most anticipated acts of the night. I was familiar with Cousin Cleetus as Boondox's hypeman, so I was quite excited to see him perform solo.




From the first second he stepped out, he really commanded the stage, and did a fantastic job of grabbing everyone's attention. He has a very unique sound, and one that is exactly what I like. I'm very excited to see where his career takes him, and I'll certainly be among his new fans.

Finally it was time for the main event.


I love love love Boondox's music, and his live performances don't disappoint either. It really was too bad that the crowd didn't seem more excited about his performance.

WAKE THE FUCK UP! OMG This guy was falling asleep through Boondox's entire set

There was only one line of people standing directly at the barricade, with no one immediately behind them, then the rest of everyone was keeping a fair distance from the stage. I felt kind of sorry for him because he was giving us a performance equal to or better than the Gathering, yet no one seemed to care, except for me of course :-)






I was very happy to hear his two newest songs, Abadon and Monster, performed live right alongside his older stuff. He moved continuously around the stage, but didn't really seem to engage those of us who were standing right up front very much. Despite that, the show was fantastic, and well worth the time and effort to make it to Daytona Beach.

After Boondox was done performing, the lights came up and he made his way to the edge of the stage to hang out for a while.

This guy had him sign one of the infamous "I love Waffle House" shirts from the Gathering

He signed a bunch of autographs and gave a bunch of daps...


...and even obliged me with a self portrait with him! Not surprisingly, the crowd scattered very quickly, and no one hung around at all after the show. So since there was nothing going on, I quickly jumped back into my soccer mom mobile and made my way back to shiny, happy Disney World.

And so ended the last show I'd make it to in 2011.

I'll be doing one more blog entry as a recap of the year, then I'll keep motoring full force ahead into the new year with the same "12 live shows in 12 months" goal as this year.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Anybody Killa at the Muse, once again

Friday, October 14th, 2011
Anybody Killa
The Muse, Nashville, TN

For the second time in 2011, and the third time in a year, I got the opportunity to see ABK perform at the Muse. Beforehand, I made up a batch of 2 dozen Moon Mist cupcakes, and picked up new friend Ryan "Cookies" from his house so he could go to the show as well. When we arrived, nothing was going on yet, so like always, we just stood around and mingled, and ate some cupcakes. I actually only went inside a few times before ABK started to perform since I wasn't familiar with anyone who was opening, and since I'd much rather be hanging out on the patio with my friends than pretending that I'm enjoying someone's performance.

By the time ABK started to perform, everyone had gone back inside and staked out their respective spots near the stage. While I waited, I had something very strange happen. I struck up a brief conversation with a man standing next to me, and after exchanging just a few pleasantries, he said "Too bad more REAL Juggalos didn't show up tonight. I only see three or four." Um...excuse me? I'd never seen this dude in my life, so he obviously didn't personally know every person in the room. And who is he to judge what a REAL Juggalo is? I wasn't even sure how to respond since I wasn't sure if he was including me in the three or four who were "real Juggalos" or was lumping me in the with "not a real Juggalo" rest of the crowd. What a random, judgmental thing to say to someone you didn't know.

Once ABK came out onstage, the show was great, as always. I actually thought the set seemed a little shorter than his past sets, but in reality I don't think it was. This was one of only three "Orange and Black" shows that he did, so hopefully it's a show that was unique to only those three dates.











After the show, everyone made their way outside, and Killa was right behind us. We all just hung around and chilled for a while, took some photos and generally had a good time.

Crystal meets Killa...

...and so does Nick!

After we'd been hanging around for a while, I decided to get my other dozen cupcakes and pass them out. So right as I'd handed them all out and we started to eat, two cops came up. They were shining their flashlights on us and acting like brutes, apparently thinking they were gonna bust us all for doing something illegal. But nope! We were all just standing there eating cupcakes! They kept looking at us, and shining the flashlights all over the ground, but all they found were happy, upstanding citizens eating yummy cupcakes hahaha It was so funny how confused they were. Eventually they left since we weren't doing anything bad!

Not sure what my next show is going to be since I don't have anything else on the plan at the moment. Still hoping that Boondox turns up at the Muse sooner than later!


Monday, October 3, 2011

The Gathering of the Juggalos, Day 1

Wednesday, August 10th through Monday, August 15th, 2011
The 12th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos
Cave-in-Rock, IL

I wear a ring on my right hand that is engraved with the words "Live without hesitation." I decided a few years ago that I wanted to live while I was alive, and since then, I've tried to expand my horizons and experience stuff that I never would have considered before. So back in January, after I went to an ICP concert and got to mark that off my bucket list, I decided to push the envelope even farther. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone, grab life by the horns and make my first visit to the one, the only, the Gathering of the Juggalos. It was going to be quite the step outside of my comfortable little box, but I felt that I was up to the challenge in more ways than one. Luckily, my friends Pamela and Nick had decided to go as well, so we'd all get to experience something new together!

In the months leading up to the Gathering, I accumulated any and every little thing that I could think of that we may need. I bought sunblock, bug spray, bandanas, flashlights, plastic silverware, mini fans, baby wipes, tons of non-refrigerated food, and loads of other stuff. My living room became the staging area for all my Gathering prep. I "test assembled" my huge tent in the spring just to make sure all the pieces were there, and even "test packed' my car to make sure all our stuff would fit. The only other trip I've taken that could measure up to the amount of prep I did was my trip to Japan. Except that this time, I wouldn't have the luxury of being near restaurants, stores or even running water!

The day before we left, I packed up all of my big items (the tent, cooler, chair, grill, my duffel bag of clothes, one tub of food and one tub of "stuff") then headed to Pamela and Nick's place to pack up their stuff. Nick helped me pack what we could, then we went to Pamela's work to show her our efforts. We actually ended up condensing one big tub and one big duffel bag of food all into the single tub, which saved a TON of space. With everything packed, the only thing left to do was sleep. Yeah right...I don't think any of us got much sleep that night!!

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

On Wednesday morning, I got up around 5:30am, and after a shower and a final few moments of cramming stuff into the car, I left the house at 7:00am and made my way to Harris Teeter for some dry ice. We ended up with about 15 pounds worth, which didn't look like much, but was hopefully going to keep all of our stuff cold for a while. When I was done, I headed off toward Pamela and Nick, grabbing a quick breakfast at McDonalds along the way. Once I was there, we packed up the rest of their stuff, and once Pamela's mom arrived with her air bed, we were on our way. We were crammed into the car...and I mean seriously, seriously packed!


Pamela was in the front seat with two cases of water at her feet and a mound of stuff in her lap...


...while Nick was in the back seat with water at his feet and my cooler sitting in his lap! Poor guy! hahaha

As we hit the road, we got stopped by the longest light ever, then made a quick stop to top off the gas tank and for Pamela to pick up some smokes for the road. Once we were on our way, we cranked up the tunes, and made our first stop right as we got off the highway in Eddyville, KY. After we unwedged Pamela and Nick from the car, we topped off the tank one last time, then hunted for some Ziploc bags since that was the one thing we had neglected to pack. There weren't any at our gas station, so I ran across the street where I found a box of them. Once we were back on the road, it was a fairly straight shot up to Cave-in-Rock,IL. We only saw one cop, but I was extra, extra careful not to go even one mile over the speed limit for fear of getting stopped.

When we arrived at the Cave-in-Rock ferry, it was just leaving, but luckily we only had about three or four cars in front of us, so we knew we'd be on the next one out. All the people in front of and behind us were Juggalos...


...and we even spotted "615 LOC" tagged on a bench nearby...Lords of Chaos have struck again! hahaha


Pamela was mildly freaked out by the fact that we were about to go on a ferry, but some chain smoking helped calm her nerves! When the ferry was back, we all boarded, and it was a quick, pleasant float across to the other side. Once there, we drove out to where our directions took us, but didn't know which road was Lamb Road since we didn't see a sign. We followed a sign for Hog Rock, but after a few blocks, Nick said he didn't think we were going the right way. We turned around and went back to the main road to drive a little further, but ultimately decided that we'd gone the right way the first time. Eventually we found the correct way off into the wilderness.

Upon our arrival, we followed the car entrance, and bottomed out the car a few times as we went up the incredibly bumpy, incredibly dusty entrance road. I'm not sure how people with RVs get up that road!! I was just glad I'd fixed the shocks before the trip!

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At the top of the road, it opened up into a grassy field that was full of hundreds of cars full of Juggalos waiting to get into the campground! It was close to 1:00pm by this point, and we knew we'd be sitting for a long time at the rate the line was moving. We parked and walked around a little while, and moved the car forward any time there was an opening. Nick eventually decided to walk forward and find our buddy Moonshine since he'd texted that he was near the front of the line.

After some walking around, he came back and said that he'd found him, and that there were two shorter lines all the way at the front, if I would drive along the right side and pass everyone. It felt like cheating to do that, but once I was able to get all the way over to the right side, I slowly drove past everyone until I saw more cars in front of me. Once I got there, Moonshine flagged me to go even further to the right since there was another lane there. So I drove up again, and ended up four cars behind him. I'm not sure why people weren't utilizing all the lanes?? There were four lanes open, but the rightmost two lanes had almost no one in them while everyone else was cramming into the other two lanes. From the back of the line, you wouldn't know this since you couldn't see that far ahead, but the closer people definitely should have realized it. It's just like at Disney World, and how people will line up 20 deep at certain turnstiles while there is always the one turnstile with no line! I'm sure we easily bypassed 300 or more cars just by driving all the way up.

Once we were near the front, Pamela decided to sneak off into the woods for a bathroom break, and later came back to declare that it had been the best pee of her life! hahaha Eventhough we were so much closer, the line was still agonizingly slow. Each time they opened the line, they took four cars from each line. Eventually, we made it to the single line that was heading into the campground, only to round the corner and find that we were still probably half a mile from the entrance! Ugh! A million years later, when we finally got to the front of the line, we saw that each car was being searched to make sure there were no fireworks, weapons or glass inside the car. I'd made sure in advance that all of our alcohol was in plastic, and that I had nothing that would be considered a weapon. The people in front of us weren't so lucky though, and had to pour all of their whiskey into plastic bottles before they were let inside!

Once we were cleared for entry, we tried to follow the map as best we could. Dennis had said that the best place to camp was the "Haunted Forest" but we quickly realized that there was no such place! We did spot Haunted Haven though, so we assumed that that was what he meant. We found our way quickly to where we needed to be, but missed a turn and ended up driving up the road on the left side of Second Stage. After turning around, I backtracked one turn and made a right into the Haunted Haven. We drove, and it seemed like most of the spots were already taken. We passed a little cottage on the left, then came upon a cross street that turned to the left, that had a large empty area on the corner. Perfect! So I parked the car on the far end of the empty spot, then quickly dragged my cooler out to the corner so we could stake out the entire area.


Once we were parked, we started to get settled into our home for the weekend. We emptied out a lot of the trunk, and unrolled the tent. After a little trial and error with the tent poles, we managed to get the tent completely assembled within about 15 minutes.

Tada! Our three room condo for the weekend.

We gave Nick the job of hammering in the tent stakes, while Pamela and I set up the chairs, and unloaded our personal luggage. We had somehow ended up with a very inconvenient hole right in the middle of our campsite, and after all of us had almost fallen into it, we decided that that was a great place to set up the grill.

Once we got all our stuff arranged, Pamela and Nick started the daunting task of trying to inflate their air mattress with just the little manual pump I'd brought. They huffed and puffed, trying to blow it up for what seemed like a million years, but they were getting absolutely nowhere. After a while of just hanging around, snacking and relaxing down to vacation speed, Moonshine showed up for a bit. Luckily, he had an electric air bed pump that would run off the cigarette lighter in his truck, so he mercifully offered to blow up their bed for them. While he and Nick were gone attending to the mattress, Pamela and I just chilled, and I started to drink on some of my margarita that I'd brought.

Once Nick was back, complete with a fully inflated air mattress and one of their cases of beer, we decided to grab our drinks and take a walk around.

Pamela's first encounter with a port-a-potty!

We first found our way back to Second Stage, then kept going straight up a huge hill. Once we came down the other side of the hill, it opened up into a field containing the Bomb House and the wrestling stage.

Pamela and Nick at the wrestling stage


Following the path further, Lake Hepatitis was on the right, and Spazmatic and the food stalls were on the left. We walked a little further, then decided to scan the merch booth, which was unexpectedly open. I was very tipsy by this point, but I did manage to coherently ask if they had any sterling silver Hatchetmen, which they didn't. All the stuff seemed very expensive, which was a bummer since ultimately I'd have bought way more had prices been lower.

After a quick rest on a nearby park bench, we each took our photo with the big "Welcome to Shangri La" banner that was nearby, then headed back to the camp.

Me with the banner

Pamela with the banner

Nick with the banner

We were all pretty hungry since we hadn't eaten much all day, so it was definitely time to grill some burgers! During the drunken walk back, we passed someone in a van who was spinning out on the big hill, and a bunch of people, myself included, all pushed from behind and helped the van up the hill. Hooray teamwork! Once back at the camp, I threw some charcoal into the grill and got it going, while Pamela staked four of the tiki torches into the ground around the campsite so we could have some light. I'd gotten the kind of charcoal where you just light the little bag and it fires up all the coals, and it worked really, really well. Very glad I didn't have to mess with the lighter fluid I'd brought.

Tending to the grill while Pamela lights the torches

After a while, we threw the burgers on the grill, and enjoyed them with Pringles and a host of condiments pilfered from various restaurants in the months preceding the trip haha. After we'd each downed two burgers (we had no way to heat them back up, so we had to eat them right then or they wouldn't be good the next day!), Moonshine dropped back by for another visit. While he was there, I asked if he'd mind blowing up my mattress for me, and he grabbed it and took off with it! I was going to carry it up to his camp and back, but he insisted that I stay there, and he'd bring it back. That was so nice of him!


Once he was back with my mattress, I made up my bed, and it looked just like a little bedroom :-) Since we all wanted to get a good night of sleep, we ended up turning in at just after 11:00pm. It was only once I laid down that I realized how steep of a slope we were on. It was pretty much impossible to lay flat without rolling downhill to my left side, but it wasn't quite as noticeable when laying on my stomach. Surprisingly, I fell asleep quickly and slept very well.