Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
Insane Clown Posse, Moonshine Bandits, Kung Fu Vampire, Axe Murder Boys
Expo Five, Lousiville, KY
It had been entirely TOO LONG since I had seen ICP in a small venue...with the last time being in this very same venue in January of 2011. I've seen them twice at the Gathering since then, but nothing beats the room-filling experience of seeing ICP in an enclosed, smaller venue.
My friend Krissi and I drove from Nashville for this show, and arrived right at 6:00 for the festivities. As I stood at my car, fixing my hair in my window reflection, a cop drove by and told us that we weren't allowed to hang around in our cars. I assumed it was because they were paranoid about possible alcohol and/or marijuana consumption that may or may not be happening in and around the parking lot. But in any event, we didn't hang around the car long, and eventually took our spot at the end of a pretty long line of Juggalos waiting to get into the venue.
Given the fact that I've been chosen to cover these events for Faygoluvers now, I do a lot more walking around and talking with people than I ever did before...which is so much fun since I get to meet awesome ninjas from all over the place! I walked up toward the front of the line, and I met SO many happy people just by walking up, introducing myself and asking for a photo of them! Tons of people were wearing face paint (myself included!), lots of them were carrying Faygo bottles in different states of consumption, and everyone just seemed to be excited and happy to be there!
By the time I got back to where Krissi was in line, the line behind us was enormous! Luckily it's a good sized venue, so people didn't have to worry about selling out.
Faygo bottles abounded, both before and during the show
Once they let us in the venue, I took a quick tour around and checked out the merch booth. It was remarkably small, really, since the last time I was here, they probably had three times the amount of merch for sale. But irregardless, they had a huge line. Krissi and I ended up striking up a conversation with one of the guys on the ICP crew, who ended up saying that he was one of the guys who dresses up and throws Faygo on the crowd. That's got to be such a fun job!
The show began with Bonez Dubb and Otis of AMB taking the stage. It's nice to see that AMB still gets support from the hatchet, even if they aren't signed anymore. AMB put on a pretty good set, though they did look kinda smashed up against the edge of the stage due to the three other backdrops that were hanging behind them. Despite that, the crowd showed them love and they had a good performance.
After a brief pause, Jumpsteady came back out and introduced Kung Fu Vampire. I was really excited to see him again since the only other time I'd seen him was at the Gathering in 2011. I really enjoy Kung Fu Vampire for some reason. I just find him to be very interesting to watch, on top of being talented. He always makes crazy faces at the crowd, either sticking his tongue out, glaring at you with his white eyes or just generally looking maniacal!
Both times when I've seen him, he's been dressed so casually...black shorts, sneakers, button up plaid shirt, no face paint...I think it would be fun to see him perform in his full makeup and costume! But either way, this dude is a beast, and I love his live sets! At one point, he said that he thought the security guards weren't doing enough and he wanted people to start crowd surfing, and everyone jumped on that chance. There was a steady stream of crowd surfers, which posed a challenge for both the security guards and those of us trying not to get kicked in the head! I did manage to take one kinda firm kick to the head, but I was alright, so it was all good. He also did a death wall, initially claiming that there would be "naked midget wrestlers" jumping into the crowd hahaha He did a fantastic job of getting the crowd hyped up and excited for the rest of the show.
After jumping back to the bar to grab a Coke (What? No Faygo for sale at the bar??), it was time for Moonshine Bandits. I wasn't familiar with them or their music, so it was a little bit of a shock to hear that they do some kind of hip hop/country music hybrid that I'd never heard before!
It was good but...I did think it was kind of an odd choice for an ICP tour! And maybe what's more is that I thought it was odd that they played directly before ICP. It was pretty clear that most people weren't familiar with their music since people didn't do much dancing, moshing or arm waving during the set, and most people weren't able to sing along. Placing Moonshine Bandits after AMB but before Kung Fu Vampire may have given a little better flow to the pacing of the show. A lot of the energy that Kung Fu Vampire had stirred up had settled down during the Moonshine Bandits set, with a lot of people going outside to smoke or heading to the bar. The set was good though, and they had a great time with the crowd. They were very entertaining, to say the least.
When it was finally time for ICP to start their set, there was no introduction...fitting, since they need no introduction, at least not to anyone in the room. To possibly add some fuel to the "Maybe Boondox is coming back to Psychopathic" fire, I did notice numerous Boondox songs being played in the downtime between sets. Just food for thought.
Since I had my lovely press pass courtesy of Faygoluvers, I was able to run up into the area between the barricade and the stage to grab some photos right as the show started. As soon as they dropped the black curtain in front of the stage, I went as far as the speakers on the left side of the stage, and snapped as furiously as I could!
Of course, they wasted no time at all in cracking open the Faygo bottles, so I had to keep ducking and shielding my camera the entire time! It was so fun though! Since I was the only one up there, it felt like my own personal Faygo shower! They started with The Mighty Death Pop, then Chris Benoit, and by the end of those two songs, I was getting too wet to stay up there any longer and risk damaging my camera. So I ducked out and made my way back into the crowd with everyone else.
Last time I was in Louisville for an ICP show, I remember the crowd being CRAZY, with the entire crowd basically being a mosh pit the entire time. This time, however, it was much more sedate, and I was able to enjoy it a lot more. Don't get me wrong...people were still moving around, and there was a large pit with plenty of crowd surfers. The energy was still fantastic. But this time, I was able to stay in roughly the same spot, and wasn't constantly shoved around. As people shuffled, I was able to get within about 5 or 6 people of the barricade, which meant that I was close enough to get sprayed directly by Violent J and Shaggy before letting go of their bottles!
At some point during the set, they brought 2 Tuff Tony and Violent JJ out onstage, and they started throwing Faygo into the crowd as well. And wouldn't you know that Violent JJ got me soaked with Faygo THREE TIMES! He can't throw them quite as far as everyone else, and I was just far enough back to get three soaking splashes from bottles he threw!
I enjoyed the set list for this show a lot, especially the stuff from Mighty Death Pop. Bazooka Joey was great, and I loved Night of the Chainsaw live! I did think that Vera Lee was a little bit too slow for a live show though, especially considering that Violent J sang the entire song and left Shaggy sort of in no-man's-land. I also thought it was a little weird not to hear Chicken Huntin'. I really can't complain though because the performance was really top notch, and I loved that they mixed it up and played a bunch of new songs.
As the set ended, all the VIPs came out onstage and began the Faygo onslaught. If I wasn't soaked before, this thoroughly finished the job! For the finale, confetti came down from the ceiling, and everyone was dancing around, all soaked to the bone and covered in colorful confetti. Who wouldn't have fun in a situation like that? haha As the music died down and the lights came up, I surveyed the damage. Dozens of crushed Faygo bottles...about an inch of Faygo flooding the floors...and everyone had huge smiles on their faces!
I wandered around for a while taking photos of people, and eventually my Nashville crew decided to head out for the night. Luckily I was able to find a 24 hour White Castle along the highway so I could run in and change my clothes so I didn't have to make the three hour drive back in wet clothes!
After a show like this, I can't help but feel like we, as Juggalos, have this amazingly fun little secret that the rest of the world doesn't know about. For a brief moment, I had that carefree feeling that I was overwhelmed with at the Gathering last year. There we all were...dancing, moshing, yelling, wearing face paint, and sharing this fantastic camaraderie, while the outside world stayed well outside the venue doors. For a few hours, we were all just free to be ourselves and enjoy some bomb ass music! It was great, and definitely worth the three hour drive to get there! ICP has touted that this tour will criss cross the country numerous times, so hopefully every Juggalo out there will have a chance to see this amazing tour for themselves!