Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Gathering of the Juggalos, Day 3

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Despite the very, very late night the night before, I still managed to be awake at 8:00am (after only about 2 1/2 hours of sleep!) so I'd have enough time to get showered and ready for the ICP seminar. Once I was up, I made my way over to the showers, and waited in about a half hour line before it was my turn. If I didn't need the shower beforehand, waiting in the sun for half an hour certainly made me need one! I also saw this girl get pulled out of the shower line for something suspicious by some people on a golf cart. All she had on was a towel, and when they came up, they asked if she wanted to go with them and take a shower backstage, and they weren't gonna ask her to do much in exchange. Surprisingly, the girl got on the golf cart and left, and the rest of us just stood there looking at each other, shocked.

Once it was my turn, I showered quickly, then made my way back to the camp. After a honey bun and some other various snacks for breakfast, I packed up some water, some snacks and my ICP photo prints that I wanted signed, and headed off for the seminar tent. I'd heard in advance that you needed to arrive at least two hours early for the ICP seminar, and that was spot on. The tent was already full when I arrived, but since I was by myself, I was lucky enough to find a single seat on a hay bale, a little to left of the stage and about halfway back. While everyone was waiting, people were throwing stuff around...full bottles, beer cans, bags of potato chips, even full garbage bags! Why why why is this fun to people?? The people sitting directly to my right took their cooler and filled it up with water, then refilled all the bottles that landed in their area so they would be throwing full bottles instead of empty ones.


And there was one guy up by the front holding a big sign that said "We need an island!" who ended up being the target of most of the flying objects. Luckily I managed to escape getting hit, though I did end up with a few wet spots on me.

2:00pm came and went, and by 2:45pm, ICP had made their grand arrival at the Seminar Tent. I'd been waiting for two hours and 45 minutes by that point, so I was very ready for them to get the show on the road!


The first thing they brought up was the news that they thought was the biggest and most important, which was that Vanilla Ice had been signed to Psychopathic. Everyone was excited, but later, when Violent J announced that there would be a new Dark Lotus album released before next year's Gathering, the whole tent erupted in cheers! That was definitely bigger, more exciting news than Vanilla Ice! They also announced a new autobiography that they were working on, as well as improvements to the radio station website and info about the extra discs that would be sold with the Mighty Death Pop. Everything sounded great all around, and it was cool to be there, in the "nucleus of the Juggalo universe" as Violent J put it, when everything was announced.



By the end of the seminar, it almost hurt to stand up hahaha But I made it :-) Knowing that the seminar had run late by about an hour, I knew that the ICP autograph signing was also going to be running at least an hour late.


So I made my way over to the autograph tent, and got at the end of a very, very long line at about 4:00pm. The people in front of me ended up being really was a very young couple from Chicago who had hitch hiked to the Gathering and had no ride home, and the other was a slightly older (but still considerably younger than me) couple from somewhere in Indiana. We all had a good time chatting, and tried to find amusing ways to pass the time. At one point a guy came by selling freeze pops for $.25, so of course everyone in the area bought them up, and he sold out in no time.


At one point, the line was moving so slowly that the two couples joined forces and made a small bonfire in the line haha Too funny.


At 6:00pm, Corporal Robinson popped out of the tent and said that ICP really wasn't supposed to be signing anything after 6:00 since Main Stage acts were starting, but that they didn't want to strand the people in line. So he instructed everyone to get out whatever they wanted to be signed, and Violent J and Shaggy would go down the line and quickly sign everyone's stuff. Luckily, people followed orders and everyone got to get their stuff signed quickly, then moved out of the way.

Shaggy approaches...

Violent J approaches...

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When it was my turn, I handed over my photo of Shaggy from the January show, which he signed with my silver pen. I also managed to sneak a quick self portrait with him.


When it was Violent J's turn, again I handed over the photo I had of him, and snapped a self portrait. I'd wanted to really give him a heartfelt "thank you" for creating the whole Juggalo phenomenon, but since he was having to move by so fast, all I got to say was "Thank you for everything." But he locked eyes with me briefly and gave me a very sincere "Thank YOU" back, so I know that he knew what I meant.

By the time I had my autographs, I was exhausted and just wanted to chill out for a while. It was about 6:30pm by the time I got back to the camp site...a full six hours after I left! And I'd only done one seminar and one signing. Ugh.

Meanwhile, back at the camp...

Pamela and Nick were there when I arrived, which was cool since I barely saw them once the Gathering was underway. They did a lot of Second Stage acts, wrestling shows and other randomness like that, where I did all the stuff that required waiting in lines. Smart move on their part! Since we were all there, we decided to throw our hotdogs on the grill and have some dinner. Good thing that I like my hot dogs burned because we managed to burn the crap out of all the dogs we put on the grill haha. But they were a nice change from snack food. A little before 8:00pm, I got a text from Dennis saying that he'd finally arrived, and for me to come meet him at the gate. At that point, I headed out of camp, and grabbed my campground map so I could hopefully make my way out to him easily.

Well I walked toward the spot marked "ticket booth" on the map, since that was apparently the only entrance to the grounds once the festival started. I made my way to that general area, but had to stop to ask a security guard for exact directions. Well, the directions he gave me stank, and led me directly back to the path where my camp was, which I knew was the complete opposite way. By the time I made it back to the area where I thought I was supposed to be, I got a call from Dennis saying that he was back by Main Stage at an entrance there, where the artists come in. Now I truly had no idea where he was, but I started to walk off in the general direction of Main stage, hoping to see an entrance there once I got there. Well, maybe five minutes later, he calls back, only to tell me that he was actually at the spot marked "ticket booth." Grrr!!! So I'd walked almost all the way out to the ticket booth, then back as far as the carnival rides, then had to walk all the way out to the ticket booth again. And did I mention that I was carrying my folding chair? And did I also mention that I could hear Kottonmouth Kings playing in the background he entire time? Finally, someone that Dennis knew who happened to be outside said that he'd come in and find me, and take me out to the gate so I could get Dennis in.

Finally I got to the gate, and managed to get him his wristband and charm, and we were on our way in. I was annoyed at him for giving me such bad directions, but what made me extra annoyed was that I had missed almost every second of KMK's set. I'm a brand new KMK fan, and was SO looking forward to seeing them perform, but I only got to see about ten minutes of their set because I was walking all over creation trying to find Dennis. Once we finally got to the Main Stage area, he still had everything he'd brought with him, including his pillow and a couple of blankets, all laying in a heap next to him. Turned out that he'd enlisted some guy to follow us in and carry some of his stuff since a bag of his had broken on the way in. I hadn't even noticed a guy following us all that way! haha

Once we enjoyed the final ten minutes of KMK's set, Dennis said that he wanted to drop his stuff off at the camp. That was fine with me, so I packed up my chair...


...and he grabbed everything of his, which was now draped all over him since he refused to let me carry anything but a single pair of shoes! We got as far as the lawn in front of Spazmatic before he said he needed a break, and collapsed into what looked like a heap of laundry. I sat with him for a minute, then said that I'd like to grab a bite to eat since I hadn't had much real food since I arrived. He said he'd wait for me, so I ran over and got in line at the gyro place. Once I had my chicken gyro, I went back over to Dennis and chilled for a minute while I ate my dinner. It was really good, but it was very messy, which of course proved to be an awkward conundrum. My hands always stayed filthy through the Gathering because there were NO sinks anywhere where you could wash your hands. I'd used Purell before I ate, but I still didn't feel clean at all. So I had all this yummy juice and sauce running all over my hands, but I didn't want to lick it off haha Napkins to the rescue.

When I was done with my gyro, I said that I wanted to go get a Faygo, so Dennis again offered to wait for me. I went up to Spazmatic and bought a Moon Mist, and made my way back over to Dennis. Once he was well rested, he hoisted all of his stuff up onto his shoulders and we made our way across the Drug Bridge and up to the camp. Dennis took a few minutes to arrange some of his stuff in the living room area of the tent (since my room was way too small to barely fit my mattress and duffel bag sitting next to each other!). Since Dennis had just arrived, he was itching to get back to Main Stage, so once his stuff was dropped off, we quickly made our way back to the action.

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When we arrived, we were just in time to see Ice Cube be announced. We stayed a fair distance back since neither of us felt the need to really be close for his performance. The only Ice Cube song I ever enjoyed was It Was a Good Day, which was of course his last and most impressive song. Dennis was so into was so fun! The whole crowd was into it actually, and he got tons of Whoop Whoops when he was done. After his set, it was amazing to see all the people flood away from the Main Stage, completely not caring that ABK was about to perform. Just as well, since Dennis and I were both quite excited to see ABK again.

With the majority of the crowd gone, we were able to get fairly close to the front for ABK's performance. I didn't feel the need to fight to get to the front since I've already been up front at two of his shows, and I know that there will be more shows at the Muse in the future. So I was content to hang back and let others have the closer spots. During one particularly violent moment of moshing, someone rammed their foot into Dennis' shin, when resulted in a big gash, and a quick trip to the medic tent for him. The rest of the set was great, though I really prefer to see people in smaller venues.



Once he was done, I wandered out of the area, keeping a lookout for Dennis. Eventually I found him sitting down near the carnival rides...exactly where the text that he sent me (that I didn't see until afterward) told me he would be haha. I sat down next to him, and we ended up just sitting there enjoying the moment for the better part of an hour. We watched the rides, and enjoyed the absolutely gorgeous night air, knowing that we still had a couple of hours before anything else interesting was going to start.

At about 2:00am, we got up and meandered over to the Freakshow tent so we could catch the Kung Fu Vampire and Critical Bill shows. Quite possibly the only act that performed exactly on schedule for the entire Gathering was Kung Fu Vampire, who started at the very stroke of 2:15am.


This was the first time I'd seen them, and I loved their performance! I really, really hope I can see them at the Muse some day! I did find it odd though that the lead singer wasn't wearing his face paint, and was in some normal looking plaid shirt. It's got to be one of the bigger shows they do all'd think they'd make sure to be in full paint and costumes. Oh well. Irregardless, I enjoyed the set much more than I thought I would. As the crowd subsided for a minute, I made my way up to the barricade.


Next up was Critical Bill, who I have grown to love since I saw them open for ABK last year. Their music is perfectly what I love, and rides that line between hard rock and hip hop. And their lead singer is smoking hot too...that never hurts haha. They actually came out on time as well, and did an awesome job at getting the crowd riled up.


Powerdise (the hot lead singer) came out into the audience to stir up a mosh pit, which actually ended up being quite a bit rougher than I anticipated. There was one dude who was maybe 13 or 14 years old just to my right who obviously didn't know how to mosh since THREE TIMES he rammed into me with his elbow sticking straight into my back. The first time, I figured he was just off balance. The second time, I gave him a dirty "Oww that really hurt" look, but the third time, I turned around and was like "Dude! Quit ramming your elbows into me! That HURTS!" The lady next to him, who looked like the parental chaperone of a school group, was like "It was an accident!" Yeah, tell that to the bruises on my back!

Once Critical Bill's set was over, the only thing still going on was the JCW Legends and Icons wrestling match. I'm NOT a wrestling fan, but I know how much love Psychopathic pours into their JCW efforts, so I figured that I owed it to them to at least peep it for a few minutes. I was really, really tired by the time we sat down, and I felt like just leaning over and falling asleep on Dennis' shoulder.


Once the first round started, I could tell that it was just not gonna be my thing at all. Wrestling is just too fake to me...even knowing that it's fake, it still seems too fake to me. I just can't get into it. We only lasted through one round before we decided to head back to camp and call it a night.

When we went back to camp, we took the shortcut through the middle of the woods so we could simultaneously avoid the huge hill in one direction and the far walk to the Drug Bridge in the other. It was pitch black, with the only light coming from the moon and the occasional passerby who had a flashlight. By the time we got back to Second Stage, it was light enough to make the rest of the trip without worry. Back at the camp, Dennis took it upon himself to give me a foot rub while I relaxed on my mattress, which made me quickly drift off to sleep.

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