Sunday, August 14th, 2011
On Sunday morning, I woke up around 10:00am after a horrible few hours of uncomfortable sleep. Since my sheets were wet, I was sleeping directly on the plastic mattress, which made it stick to me all night. That, coupled with the fact that it was still fairly warm, and that the slope we were on was still rolling me downhill all night...well, it didn't make for peaceful rest. But I dragged myself out of my room and over to the shower since I knew I wanted to get to the Boondox seminar with plenty of time to spare. The line for the shower was only a few people long, which was awesome. When I was done with my shower, I found Pamela waiting in the now much longer line, so I hung with her for a little while and caught up on what we each had done the previous day. I caught her up on the news from the ICP seminar, as well as how Twiztid bailed on their autograph session.
After throwing on some clothes and pulling back my hair, Dennis and I made our way over to the seminar tent. Along the way, I asked Dennis to hold my Boondox photo that I'd printed for him to sign so I could fix my bandana. We arrived at noon, with the seminar starting at about 1:30pm, so we knew we were gonna have quite a wait ahead of us. A few minutes after we sat down, I remembered my photo, and got it back from Dennis....only to find that it was completely crumpled up!!! OMG!!! I wanted to freaking strangle him!! I'd been treating my photos with kid gloves all weekend, and had even spent time the previous day blowing the Boondox photo dry when it got wet in the tent! Now I had huge creases in it, and I had no way to get another one printed before the signing that afternoon. I was PISSED, and Dennis later told me that he truly thought I was going to hurt him over it. He said that when we were walking in, he'd lost his balance and accidentally crumpled it around a water bottle. Not much I could do though, so I had to pretty quickly get used to the idea that my framed Boondox photo would have permanent creases in it.
Boondox, taking the stage
At about 1:40pm, Boondox arrived at the tent and the seminar began. He didn't do a whole lot of talking since it just doesn't seem like that's in his personality. But he did talk a little about his new album, and wanted the crowd to try to come up with a name for it. At first he liked "Second Life," then "Corn fed and Inbred," but the crowd favorite definitely seemed to be "Oops, I Fucked My Cousin"!! hahaha He kept saying it over and over as one of his favorites.
At some point, someone handed him a bottle of liquor that he said looked like baby poop...
...but that didn't stop him from taking a drink of it! He also played most of one of his new songs, which was great, and got a great reception from the crowd. After that, he took a bunch of questions...everything from "Can I have your baby?" to "Will there be a Yung Dirt solo album?" to "Will you play my ukulele?" He answered questions for at least a good half hour. He didn't play the ukulele though!
Me and Dennis, waiting for the Twiztid seminar
Once Boondox left, basically everyone in the whole tent stayed right where they were and waited for Twiztid to arrive. There was, once again, lots of stuff flying through the air, and one guy standing in the middle of the tent swinging a laundry detergent bottle like he was playing baseball! At about 3:15pm, Twiztid arrived, and of course the first thing that was mentioned was Madrox's significant weight loss. He didn't talk much about it himself, but Monoxide went on and on about how hard he'd worked, and how he'd done it because of his love for the Juggalos and the desire to be around as long as he can for them. Personally, I am more fond of phatso Madrox's physique, but I totally respect that he's lost weight to improve his health.
Twiztid in the seminar tent
Through the whole seminar, they basically acted like it was a comedy routine. I'd watched Twiztid seminars from previous years on YouTube so I knew that I should expect some quality entertainment, so I was definitely not disappointed! They talked quite a bit about Cryptic Collection 4, but really they just ran away with whatever the topic was and made it hilarious! Their seminar lasted the full hour, and they didn't quit cracking jokes the entire time. Despite having been unceremoniously ditched at their signing the day before, I still have mad love for Twiztid. They're incredible writers and performers, and I respect that they are so defiantly underground, despite having a sound that would do very well in the mainstream.
Once Madrox and Monoxide left, Dennis and I jumped up (well, as quickly as you can jump after sitting on a hay bale for like four hours!) and ran to the autograph tent in hopes that I could catch the Boondox and Potluck signing there. I wanted to get ahead of the crowd leaving the tent just in case a lot of people had the same idea. Apparently not many people cared because when I arrived, the line was very reasonable, and was moving continuously. Thank heavens, since I'd spent 6 1/2 hours in that line over the previous two afternoons!! They let in groups of about 6 or 8 people at a time, and the line never stopped for more than a few minutes at a time. That's how it should be...apparently everyone just has a lot more to say to ICP and Twiztid than they have to say to Boondox and Potluck :-)
When it was my turn at the front of the line, I quickly made my way through the Potluck guys since I've never listened to them, and found myself face to face with Boondox! His eyes...I've never seen eyes like his before. I swear they looked straight through me and burned a hole in my soul.
I handed him the photo I'd taken of him at the Memphis show, and asked him to sign it with my silver pen. He had a "wow" sort of reaction to the photo, and as he signed it, I very briefly thanked him for turning me from an ICP fan into a Juggalette. I'd listened to Cold Cruel World, and really identified with it since I've dealt with some depression in the past, so I took a moment to thank him for sharing himself in that song.
He graciously said thank you, and leaned forward over the table to get a photo with me. Awesome! When it was Dennis' turn to meet Boondox, he told him about how Lake of Fire inspired him to write a book, and how he wants to send a copy of the book to him once it's complete. Of course he was a little more long winded than that...
...so the photo I got looks like Boondox is trying to figure out how to kill Dennis while he's talking!
With that done, I gingerly placed the photo back into its envelope, and we headed back to camp so I could stash it inside the car until we left. Since Saliva was going to take to the Main Stage in just a little while, we didn't linger very long at the camp. We started to wander around to try and find some dinner, but we were out of luck basically everywhere we tried! Our first stop was the Greek place, where they were down to only pork chops and turkey legs, with a few of the sides. The next booth over was out of chicken strips, and the place on the very end was out of both chicken strips and burgers. And the line at the pizza place was LONG. Rats. We'd already spent too much time looking, so since Dennis wasn't getting anything for dinner, I asked if he could go up to the stage and stake out a close spot for us. With him holding our spot at the stage, I went back to the Greek place and got them to make me a plate of rice, veggies and bread. It was decent, though not really what I wanted, and I ate it as I made my way up to the stage.
Once I found him, I was one person back from the barricade, and slightly off to the left. I finished off my dinner, and right as I was done...
...Flava Flav came out to introduce Prozak. As soon as he took the stage, the crowd didn't seem overly into him. But maybe one or two songs into the set, his hype men started getting everyone pumped up, and started to mosh and stage dive.
Even the security guards were like "WTF is wrong with this guy?"
At one point, this really wired dude motioned to Dennis that he was going to stage dive and wanted him to catch him. I tried to get back as far as I could, and when the guy dove off the stage, he didn't jump far enough and rammed himself straight into the barricade! Everyone gasped, and I was very surprised that he didn't knock himself out with how hard he hit the barricade. Dennis pulled him up and lifted him up onto the crowd, and the guy went on as though nothing had happened!
He made his way back to the front, and after a while, I managed to get a photo of the two of them together.
At some point during Prozak's set, he announced that he was going to film a music video right then, and that he wanted the crowd to be extra enthusiastic. And OMG did the crowd go crazy! People were moshing like I've almost never seen before, and people were crowd surfing everywhere. People kept wanting Dennis to pick them up to crowd surf, and he ended up dumping three of them directly on top of me. Ouch! There was even one girl out in the mosh pit who was in a dress that looked like she'd come straight from Sunday school! And she was out there tearing it up with the rest of them!
Once Prozak was done, it was time for Saliva!!! I was truly excited beyond words to know that my favorite hard rock band was going to be playing at the Gathering. Beforehand, when ICP asked on Facebook who we wanted to see play at the Gathering, I didn't even mention Saliva because I didn't think there was any possibility at all that they would be open to playing there. But there I was...surrounded on all sides by hardcore Juggalos, about to watch Saliva! It was surreal to say the least! I tried to get someone directly at the barricade to trade spots with me, with the promise that I'd step back immediately after their set, but no one would budge. I've done that for people at shows, so I'm not sure why no one would do it for me, but whatever!
As soon as the guys from Saliva started to take the stage, it was pretty clear that I was the ONLY Saliva fan in my area. I saw Paul first, and he acted as though he recognized me, which didn't surprise me since I've seem him after so many of their shows. As soon as Dave walked out, he stopped directly in front of me on the stage, and noticed my Saliva t-shirt almost immediately. It was really cool that at least two of the guys knew that they had their most die hard Saliva fan there for that show. Even if the majority of the crowd didn't care, *I* cared!
Saliva opened their set with Black Sheep, which I thought was quite appropriate, considering the crowd they were playing for! I started dancing around, screaming and just generally going crazy, making sure to repeatedly bump into all the people who had refused to trade spots with me at the barricade haha. They played Ladies and Gentlemen, Click Click Boom, Badass, Superstar, Doperide and quite a few of their other hardest hits. I was very glad to see that they adjusted their set list for this show, because if they had gone into something softer like Rest in Pieces or How Could You, the crowd would have revolted and pelted them with any and everything they had! Speaking of, they did get a little bit of stuff thrown at them, but not very much, and I didn't hear any booing. Anything that landed on the stage would just get kicked out of the way, and they would keep on rocking.
Josey apparently sees titties for the first time at the Gathering
They really killed it in my opinion, and played with heart as though they were headlining. At one point, Dave threw a guitar pick right at me, and apparently my claws came out because everyone around me just let it fall to the ground so I could pick it up, instead of trying to grab it for themselves! haha At the end of the set, Dave started to throw his drumsticks into the crowd, and Dennis almost caught one he threw in my direction, but he couldn't grab it fast enough. Darn!
Once Saliva left the stage and I saw guys start to break down their equipment, I yelled for one of them to get a set list for me, which they did! I was completely over the moon excited to get that set list since I have others that say "Saliva Evansville" and "Saliva Nashville" so now I also have "Saliva Gathering of the Juggalos"! My plan is to see if I can get the band members to sign it so I can frame it. My set list was the only one from the day that survived, and I kind of doubt that they'll ever play another Gathering, so it's most likely a one-of-a-kind! Definitely my favorite souvenir from the Gathering!!
As I waited for Boondox to take the stage, I reveled in the fact that my favorite rock band was opening up for my favorite underground performer, and that I'd almost certainly never be in that situation again. I also noticed that there were a LOT more things getting thrown around the crowd, and a lot of it was coming really close to me. Since I didn't want to get hit with anything from behind, I turned around so I could see where all the flying stuff was coming from. And just then... ****WHACK**** Something hit me square in the left eye! I grabbed my eye with my left hand, and felt whatever it was that had hit me tumble to the ground. The crowd started to loudly chant "YOU F***ED UP! YOU F***ED UP!" and every doomsday thought ran through my mind. The pain was so intense that my first thought was "Did I just get blinded in my left eye?? How on earth will I explain this??" After another second or two, the pain subsided enough that I was able to take my hand off of my eye, and Dennis gasped at what it looked like. My hand was covered in blood, and I knew that I needed some medical attention ASAP.
I started to make my way off to the medic tent that was to the left of the stage, all the while yelling "Out of the way! I'm bleeding!" so people would get out of my way. As we got out of the crush of the main crowd, a mini ambulance golf cart was sitting there, and I was told to get in the back and they would drive me to the medic tent. No way did I want to call attention to myself, and look like a little baby getting a ride to the tent, so I told them no...I was gonna walk myself there. As I walked, I asked Dennis if he'd seen what it was that had hit me, and he said he had. It was a turkey leg!! A half eaten, dirty, hairy, disgusting Bitch Beater!!! Oh my God!! Of all the random things to take me out!! Not a water bottle. Not a beer can. Not a 2 liter of Faygo. A Bitch Beater!! Only I would have that kind of luck.
When we arrived at the medic tent, they immediately rinsed out my eye, and gave me some ice and gauze to put on it. I washed the blood and disgustingness off of my hand, and immediately tried to come up with what I would tell my friends at home! I'd told them all that I'd just gone camping...which was true...but I'd left out the whole music festival part of the story for fear that someone would worry about me. I couldn't just say that I'd gotten hit with a freaking turkey leg since who encounters flying turkey legs during normal camping trips? I ultimately decided that I would tell people that I'd gotten hit in the eye with a tent pole as I was taking down the tent. Yeah, that's the ticket.
There it is...my flying turkey leg injury.
As soon as my eye was cleaned and as patched up as it could be, I decided that I needed to get right back out there or else I was gonna miss Boondox! There was no way that I was gonna be at the Gathering and miss my Skarcrow's performance! So with my eye covered in gauze, and a baggie of ice being held on top of it, we made our way back out to the edge of the crowd right as Flava Flav was introducing Boondox. To read the story, it may seem like this process took a long time, but from the time I sat down at the tent to the time Boondox went on was only 12 minutes. Thinking back, this is really a testament to just how down I really am. I didn't even think twice about it at the time...I didn't want to ride in the little cart, I didn't want to whine and be mad about it, and I didn't want to go back to my camp to sulk. I just wanted to get patched up, and get straight back out to see Boondox. I knew that the turkey leg wasn't thrown at me on purpose. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, much like many, many others I'd seen get hit with stuff over the course of the weekend. It wasn't personal, and I didn't take it as such. So I sucked it up, dealt with it like the lette I am, and moved on.
Despite only being able to watch Boondox's set with my right eye, I enjoyed it quite a bit.
It was such a HUGE bummer that I'd been so close, and had been so excited to see him up close again, then to have that taken away. But what could I do?
As we stood there on the edge of the crowd to watch Boondox perform, this guy next to us was dancing all around, and just acting like he was on top of the world! He kept hugging Dennis and calling him the "Big King" and called me the queen numerous times. He was too funny! Boondox's set was really great, but honestly I don't remember much of it since my eye was really hurting, and I was worried about just how bad it was going to be the next day.
When Boondox was done, I said that I wanted to go back to the camp and chill out for a little while since I'd had a fairly traumatic evening, and didn't really care about Paris, Mystikal or Xhibit. I stopped back by the medic tent as we left, and asked if I could get some fresh ice and gauze, and antibiotic ointment for my eye as well (since Dennis had so graphically told me about how dirty and hairy the Bitch Beater was that hit me!!). The same EMT was there, and he said that in all the years that the Gathering had been at Hog Rock, he'd never seen someone get hit in the eye with a turkey leg. Once he gave me a gob of ointment, I went over to the ambulance and got my first look at my eye in its mirror. It was nasty. I had a cut maybe a quarter of an inch long that went just under my lower eyelid, then another small cut on the water line of my lower eyelid.
Dennis also got the gauze on the cut on his shin freshened while we were there.
As we walked back to the camp, we crossed the Drug Bridge, where a guy was yelling that he was giving out free hugs. When he saw me with my bag of ice over my gauze covered eye, he said "Aww, you look like you need a hug." So I said that I did, got my hug, and told him that I'd gotten hit in the eye with a flying Bitch Beater. That made everyone laugh, and agree that I really did need a hug! hahaha Once we made it back to the camp, we hung out in our chairs for a while, just chatting to pass the time. At one point, a guy who needed two AA batteries came by, so I was glad that I had a couple of extras to share with him. We also took a moment to make a couple of plates of nachos for dinner since we had all the fixin's but hadn't made them yet. We piled up the chips and covered them in chili and cheese sauce, and it ended up being really good! Of course it would have been better had it been warm, but it was definitely more satisfying than all the other snack food we'd packed. It was funny how, in hind sight, Pamela and I both agreed that we'd barely take any food of our own next time. By Saturday, I didn't want to eat anything out of the stash we'd brought, so next time I'd just plan on bringing breakfast and buying the rest of the meals.
Once we could hear that Xhibit was done with his set, we made our way back up to Main Stage to finish out the Gathering with the ICP set. Dennis warned that I needed to make sure everything was locked up since tent thieves go around during the ICP set sometimes. Anything that I had that was worth stealing was either on me, or locked up in my car, so I wasn't too worried. If someone needed my flashlight or my tiki torch oil that badly, let them have it! haha Once at Main Stage, as if by some divine punking, I got smacked in the right side of my neck by a mini flashlight that came flying out of nowhere! OUCH! It hurt really bad, but luckily it didn't break the skin, and I got a nice little flashlight out of it haha
We started out on the left, but quickly moved forward and to the right since we saw that people weren't jostling around too badly as far back as we were. The very last thing that I needed was to get injured any worse than I already was! We ended up basically right next to the lighting rig in the middle of the field, which still gave us a great view without being close enough to get Faygo in my open eye wound! haha In fact, it wasn't just Faygo that was being thrown. It was beer, glow sticks, baby oil, flour, and tons of unidentified stuff that I didn't want landing all over me!
When ICP finally took the stage, the atmosphere was truly magical! Everyone was happy, people were dancing and crowd surfing, and the performance was larger than life! As they sang, of course the Faygo was flying everywhere, and not just from ICP and their helper clowns, but from everyone in the audience as well! They sang quite a few of what I'd consider their best songs, with a lot of them being new to me since the only other show of theirs I'd been to was an Old Shit Tour show last January. It's almost hard to describe the way the performance felt...it was truly the culmination of an awesome event, full of awesome people, with awesome music. For just a little while, nothing else existed in the whole world except for Hog Rock. Everyone was there for the same reason, having a blast, and all enjoying themselves together. It was an amazing feeling of being a small part of something bigger than myself, and something I'm so glad that I chose to embrace.
During ICP's Bang Pow Boom finale, someone came out with a Faygo sprayer that was pretty much just a big fire hose attached to a tanker of Faygo root beer. It sprayed back and forth, soaking hundreds of people up near the front. It lasted for the entire length of the finale, plus some.
There were lots of fireworks during the finale as well, which really gave an over the top feeling to the moment. Everyone who was anyone within the genre came out on stage and started heaving Faygo bottles into the crowd, and it was sheer pandemonium for a solid ten minutes! It was just awesome! A huge part of me wanted to be right up there in the action, getting soaked and jostled around! But another part of me didn't want to risk injuring my eye any worse, and definitely didn't want to be left all sticky and fighting for a shower afterward! But next year, if we have an RV, or even a private shower, trust that I'll be up there getting soaked!
Once the music died down, the stage fell dark and the field lights came on. Even after the music stopped and the stage was empty, the Faygo sprayer kept going for probably three or four more minutes! Everyone just kind of milled around amid the Faygo bottles and beer cans, soaking in the last few minutes of what was an awesome Gathering. Dennis and I walked forward a ways, into the part of the field that was really, really soaked through with Faygo. People had started to push the crushed bottles into huge piles, so Dennis and I each grabbed one as a souvenir. As we looked, we noticed a lot of different flavors of Faygo had been sprayed, and to the best of my knowledge, ICP only sprays Diet Faygo so as not to gum up their equipment. So I chose a diet root beer bottle for my souvenir, since most likely it came from Psychopathic and not someone in the crowd. It was caked with mud and smelled awful, but I didn't care! Dennis chose one for himself, and once we'd soaked in as much as we could, we made our way back to the camp one last time.
When we arrived, Pamela and Nick were already in the tent and asleep, so I wasn't sure if they'd skipped ICP, or had just gotten out ahead of the crowd. I was really exhausted...after the last three nights of never getting more than about 3 hours of sleep a night, and none of it being restful sleep, I really was just ready to go home by that point. I really wish that someone had perfected teleportation already because I'd have teleported that entire camp to my back yard to be cleaned up the next day! I didn't want to pack up a darn thing that night, so I just quickly retired to my mattress to see if I could get a few hours of sleep. Dennis obliged in rubbing my feet one last time, but I was so tired that I fell asleep really quickly.