For a Faygo-soaked slideshow of last night's concert, click here.
Insane Clown Posse Warehouse Live December 6, 2010
Aftermath is covered in Faygo. The cell phone we hold is sticky with Faygo. Our favorite hoodie is sitting in one corner of our cubicle covered in Faygo. Jeans don't feel good when soaked in Faygo, and neither do wet shoes. The taste of grape Faygo is also in our moustache.
This ain't gonna be linear. And most of this Aftermath will be told from the pit.
Aftermath saw our second Insane Clown Posse show in a year on Monday night, and were doused in the regional generic soda for the ten minutes or so we wandered into the main pit area towards the end of the show. We actually saw the house lights at Warehouse Live come up, surrounded by Juggalos.
At this point it's a compulsion for us to feel something other than indie-rock, punk, or metal. Our cheeks hurt from smiling in the pit, and it wasn't from singing or knowing all the lyrics to every song. It was from looking around and seeing people going apeshit for something they love more than we can comprehend.
The shock-rap duo has had one hell of a year, from the "Miracles" video and the ensuing magnets debacle, to the general reawakening of pop-culture interest in the group, the self-proclaimed "most hated band in America." Funny enough, most people who hate the band have probably never heard a song except "Miracles" on YouTube or even seen a live show at that.
Monday night was a stop on ICP's "Old Shit" tour, reaching back to the beginning of their career, even to 1991's first EP, Dog Beats, to 1995's Riddle Box, and 1997's breakthrough, The Great Milenko. It's not dense, thought-provoking stuff; in fact it's abrasive, annoying, and creepy at times.
But for us, the draw has never been the music or the lyrics, even though we do get some chuckles out of things like "suck on my nuts" and "your mother a bald-headed freak bitch." It's the spirit of family and brotherhood we see at their shows that gets us.
For an hour and a half, two-liter bottles of Faygo were sprayed out into the crowd as the duo reeled off almost 30 songs from their now nearly 20-year history. Each song is seemingly made with a breakdown at the end, which acts as a cue for three or four costumed clowns to jump out front and spray the crowd and throw the bottles into the masses.
We wonder if when Juggalos hear a new song, they imagine in their heads that point in the song, like when we listen to Iron Maiden and can cue in a song where their mascot Eddie would best make his entrance. For us, it's at about the 2:12 mark in Maiden's "Run To The Hills" .
Even their set list that we pilfered has notes on how many clowns, monsters or voodoo guys should come out at each song with the soda cannons and bottles. All very calculated down to a sci...you get the gist.
We saw toddlers, elementary school kids, gray-haired grandpas and grandmas, two hipsters hiding on the side, and a few goth kids sipping beer in the corner. A few guys rolled around in wheelchairs pumping their fists so hard they could have levitated their chairs.
Someone bumps into you, they apologize and smile or even shake your hand. They hug you in the pit if you fall. They high-five you if you look like you are having fun. Juggalos love each other.
The thing no one gets, and that no one who will write a nasty comment under this blog will get is that this group brings people together for mostly better and hardly ever worse. These are the disaffected and downtrodden who don't feel like anyone gets them or ever will, and ICP and the whole of their universe is like a cocoon from reality, for just a few hours at concert or a few minutes in their headphones.
What they see is a society filled with posers, and they aren't totally wrong. Juggalos aren't posing as anything but super-fans and family. It's dorky and alien to the outside world, but it's a place to belong, and that's what we have all wanted from that first day in school when it's time to share crayons with someone or get a seat on the school bus.
There was something tribal and unnerving in that pit. A half-full bottle of the stuff towards us and hit our feet, and the kid to the left of us immediately poured what was left of it in our mouth. Another bottle hit at the same time and we did the same for him. Before we could think about it was done.
There was no pretension in what we were sharing, however much right now you are cringing for our soul. Everyone was partaking in whatever was coming from the stage like it was manna from heaven itself.
Later on we carried a half-bottle of Faygo outside into the cold air, and we handed it to a Juggalo and his Juggalette and he first asked who threw the bottle, because he was collecting one from both members, Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J.
Fucking epiphanies, how do they work?
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Personal Bias: You know how some people are "holiday Catholics"? Welp, Aftermath is a holiday Juggalo. Except our Easter and Christmas are concerts and fan gatherings where Juggalettes bathe in Faygo and people get into fistfights over face-paint.
The Crowd: Juggalos. Pretty much all Juggalos. Even our own status as Juggalos may be clouded at this point. Are we Juggalos?
Overheard in the Crowd: "Whoop Whoop!"