Tuesday, August 7th through Monday, August 13th, 2012
The 13th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
Well, as I had hoped, I slept remarkably well considering that I was at the Gathering. The bed was comfy, the fan kept me nice and cool...and I woke up really feeling like I was waking up in Shangri-La! Everyone else was already up and going for the day, so I sat outside with them (in my jammies...a lovely perk of the Gathering, since no one cares what you're wearing or how you look). I had half of my Subway sandwich from lunch the day before still in my cooler, so that was my breakfast.
Eventually we all decided to get up and moving for the day and head for the showers. We'd heard that there was an actual shower building at the top of Red Mist Mountain, but none of us had walked up there last year to use that one, instead opting for the trailer that was near the seminar tent. So we all headed out, and the uphill walk just about killed us! We were all huffing and puffing by the time we got to the top! But the building there was SO much nicer than the shower trailer down the hill! The women's side had 18 shower stalls, which meant that I never waited at all any time I showed up for a shower. They also had four big sinks with mirrors in the middle so you could brush your teeth, fix your hair and all that. So needless to say, it was great to have a bigger, comfier shower than I was expecting. There was always a lack of hot water, but at least I got clean, and was able to take as long as I needed since there was never a line. Before leaving home, I'd packed a baggie for each day with a wash cloth, and a hotel sized soap, shampoo and conditioner that could be disposed of daily. And MAN was this a good plan. Each day I just threw away the little bottles once they were used, and could pack my wet wash cloth back into the baggie. So there was no need to keep up with large, wet, potentially leaky full sized toiletries. Good planning, right there!
Once we were done and back to camp, I asked if we could stake my mailbox into the ground, so Chris and Ray took the lead in getting it done.
It was apparently quite a bit tougher to get into the ground than they imagined because they were both huffing and puffing before they were done. Once they had the main part of the post in the ground, I added the mailbox onto the top of it, and even Chris took over a good deal of that part of the job too :-) After a while, my lovely Juggalo mailbox was all assembled and ready to go! It looked fantastic!
I was SO glad that I'd put forth the effort to do all the painting on it. And despite being on the expensive side, the auger post for it really did seem like it was easier to stake into the ground than a traditional post would have been where you need to dig a big hole.
When we were done, we all hung around the camp for a while and continued to get settled in during the daylight. We also set up the "Poop Deck" which was pretty much just one of the side tents from my big tent with a bucket and toilet seat inside haha After a while, it was time for second stage acts to start, so everyone decided to head over there.
We all ended up sitting through the first two acts (neither of which were very good), before we decided to split and do different stuff. As it neared 2:00pm, most of us went over to the Bomb House to check out whatever was going on with the lingerie contest. Of course, it was all just half naked girls, which none of us really cared about (well, I guess Ray may have cared, and maybe Chris, but certainly not me).
I found the fact that Ron Jeremy was the host to be the most entertaining part, and how he played the harmonica and kept cracking inappropriate jokes haha.
Once that was done, we wandered around a bit more, and I ended up going to check out the carnival rides area.
Instead of a normal Ferris wheel, they had a double Ferris wheel type thing, with seats that faced opposite each other instead of all in the same direction. They also had a Scrambler, a Round Up and a carousel...an odd selection, but ok. After that, I headed up to the merch booth to check it out, and to pick up my copy of Mighty Death Pop. As I waited for my turn, I spotted someone else buy some hatchetman tumblers that came in a 4 pack for $10, so I decided to get a pack of those as well. Another employee arrived soon and got my stuff together, but was going to charge me $15 for the tumblers. So I (as well as the person next to me) pointed to the first employee and said that he was selling them for $10. So the two of us got our packs for $10 as well, then the price went back to $15. I also decided on the Red Pop version of Mighty Death Pop, which seemed to be the most popular while I was standing there.
When I was done wandering, I headed back to camp for a bit to relax. While I was there, I grabbed a can of my chicken chili and a pack of crackers and had some lunch. It was pretty good, but I only finished about half of it so I wouldn't be walking around in the heat with a full stomach. After a while, we all decided to head out again, and we ended up hanging around Spazmatic for the better part of an hour before main stage shows started for the day.
Pamela and Nick, hanging out at Spazmatic
When it was finally time for the first main stage shows to start, I made my first visit to a port-a-potty (which was newly cleaned...a great gift considering what it could have been like!!), then made my way up to the stage. Since Dark Lotus was closing that night, I wanted to be right up front just like last year! We ended up missing the first performer of the day, who was Kool Keith...who I'd never heard of...but we arrived just in time to see Static X.
I'm not very familiar with their music, but their performance was great, and everyone seemed to really enjoy their show.
All of us up front at main stage
Pamela and Nick having a good time
Chris, waiting for the next act
Once their performance was over, people shuffled a bit, and I ended up directly at the barricade, right underneath the Mighty Death Pop banner that was hanging on the right side of the stage. Yes! It was almost the exact same spot as last year, so I knew I'd have a great view!
Sugar Slam introduces Onyx
The next group was Onyx, which was also someone that I'd never listened to, and really didn't even know was still around. The only real way I'd ever heard of them was from Behind the Paint, where they talked about opening on an Onyx tour and repeatedly being booed off the stage. Who's opening for who now?? hahaha
I thought they did a really good job and were very entertaining, especially the security guard who just paced back and forth across the stage looking mad for the entire length of the set haha.
Next up was George Clinton and the P-Funk All stars. By this point, I noticed that everything was happening more or less on time, with not a lot of down time in between acts. That was very refreshing since last year was chronically late, and we had that 2 1/2 hour wait between MC Hammer and Busta Rhymes! None of that this year though. I had missed George Clinton's set last year, so I was excited to catch it this year since he is well into retirement age, and very well might stop touring soon. I thought they did a great job and were very entertaining, though I did think that the set lasted a little too long. It also didn't really seem like the kind of music that would be so readily embraced by Juggalos, but I think the sheer respect that he garners outweighs the fact that the music is on the more mellow side. Their performance was really big and grand, and they had a few characters come out in costumes, and had some guy in a pimp hat doing acrobatics. It was entertaining, to say the least!
Once George Clinton was done, it was time for DARK LOTUS!! They were definitely my favorite performance last year, and one of my most anticipated of this year too! When they came on stage one by one, they were in their Black Rain white outfits, but the crosses on their faces were just outlines and not filled in. The show was just as awesome as last year, and it was amazing to see them all perform together again! I snapped photos as furiously as I could, and ended up with over 300 photos just of their set! haha They played most of my favorites again, including Juggalo Family and Withered, which are probably my two favorites. Overall, it was definitely a highlight of the Gathering again!
At the very end of the set, J and Shaggy took off their clothes and threw them into the crowd!
After Dark Lotus' amazing set, it was around 12:20am or so...a vast improvement over the 2:00am hour finish last year! I wanted to head back to the camp for a drink, so that's where I went as the crowd flooded away from main stage. At camp, I sat for a few minutes and rested, then grabbed a drink and made the walk over to the seminar tent, which is where Ralphie May was going to be performing. But when I got there around 12:45...his set was already over! Talk about efficiency! His set had apparently started as soon as Dark Lotus was done, and by 12:45, people were leaving the tent. Crazy! But I would much rather stuff be on time than be indefinitely late so you never know when to expect something to start.
With that nixed from the plan, I made my way over to the Freakshow stage so I would be sure to be on time for the hed(PE) set. I was relatively close to the stage...maybe about 10 feet back or so...but planned on retreating if the crowd got too crazy since I was too tired to try to deal with being in a mosh pit. I had missed the hed(PE) set last year, but in the course of the last year, I've become a huge fan of theirs, so I was very excited to finally get to see them! The only bummer was that the Freakshow stage was actually an outdoor stage this year, where it was enclosed in a tent last year. It felt very much like a small venue show last year, where this year just seemed like any other outdoor festival show. When hed(PE) arrived, they were awesome!
The lead singer has incredible energy and stage presence, and the whole band really rocked it. The moshing wasn't too bad (except for one girl who shoved me, then got a nasty look so she stayed away from me) so I was able to stay where I was through the whole set, and got some great pics! It was great!
With hed(PE)'s set finished, I had a little over an hour before Psychopathic Rydas took the stage over at the second stage, so I went back to camp to chill out for a while. One of my favorite parts of the location of our camp was that we could always see exactly what was going on at second stage, and knew exactly when to show up for certain sets. I ended up watching all of Mastamind's set while I sat on my "front porch" at my camp, and right after his set, I jumped up and ran to stake out my spot for Rydas. I ended up right at the end of the runway, just far enough back to see everything, so I had a great spot!
When Rydas started, everyone began to mosh and jump around, and everyone had a great time with it! And despite having just performed in Dark Lotus, the guys gave a great performance. I must say though, it was kind of sad to hear a song that I love, and have them clearly cut out the Boondox lyrics :-( But what can you do? They sang a set that was pretty close to last year's set, with high energy songs like Duk Da Fuk Down and Pap Pap as well as songs like Last Ride and Pimp Suit to bring the energy down and make people stop and listen. It was a great set, and luckily I got much better pictures this year than I did last year!
After the set, it was definitely time for bed! Unlike last year when the sun was rising as the Rydas finished their set, I managed to make it to bed around 5:00am that night and fell right to sleep.