Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Show Must Go On

(Click on me for full glorious resolution)

Once in a while the moon and the stars align and something pretty rad happens in this great nation of ours. Psychopathic Records has pulled out all of the stops to bring a spectacle (the likes of which hasn't been seen in ages) to your big town. HotDamnTV had the very serious privilege of being invited to witness this spetacle when the Dark Carnival creeped, slithered, and slid through Anaheim, California (known to some as the county made of oranges). Coming to you (more dead than a)live from The Grove at Anaheim, we are proud to present Insane Clown Posse's American Psycho Tour.

Right coast staples of the wicked shit (and your one-stop-shop for a good portion of the folks that used to roll with the Bloodhound Gang) Wolfpac opened up. Daddy Long Legs and the boys no doubt entertained the shit out of the Juggalos in attendance with their blend of bad ass hip hop and "strippers" that fail to fulfill one of their primary jobs in life (removing clothing). I've seen these guys do their thing many a time and I am never disappointed. They always take the time to send a few representatives out to their merch table to give daps to all of the ninjas that came out. Unfortunately, we missed their set due to traffic.

Blaze delivered a solid set. When you go on a tour that is one Hatchet Warrior shy of Dark Lotus, you can expect to be entertained. He played all the classics like "Nasty" and "Hood Rat" and "Saturday Afternoon". The dead man had everyone's hands waving back and forth for "Escape Artist". A lot of Blaze's stuff is written with a hype man involved, but to save Mr. Grundy a bit of breath, he just wrapped his parts and then let the playback take care of the rest of the vocals. Notably absent were ABK or The ROC, who usually take the stage with him to lay down the hype. When you have this many acts sharing the same stage, some artists would just opt to hang up a banner, but considering Blaze only had the first 5 feet of the stage to work with, they put together a pretty cool backdrop (a giant clock riddled with bullets).

Next up were the Monoxide Child and The Multiple Man, collectively known as Twiztid! They opened up laughing like a lunatic with their song "Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha" from their album w.i.c.k.e.d. The Juggalos popped like The Rock had just hit The Rock Bottom on a jabroni. They moved right on to "Die Motherfucker Die", and the whole crowd was screaming back the lyrics at the top of their lungs. My photographer asked me about the lack of crowd surfing and mosh pits (which she had come to know from seeing Twiztid in Hollywood). My best theory is that there were just too many people packed into such a small area to even get that kind of mayhem started.

Segueing right into an old school and somewhat obscure favorite, the fearsome twosome showed off their skills with "Murder Murder Murder". They played through a huge portion of their discography with tracks like "Sex Drugs Money and Murder", "We Don't Die", "Bussyoheadopen", "So High" and "They Told Me". All great stuff.

Some of the stand outs from their set were "Afraid of Me" as well as the songs they did when Blaze Ya Dead Homie came back out to lay down his part of "4 Thoze of U" and "How I Live". This was a rare treat, and the performance of this track was made even fresher because it was a special remixed version of "How I Live".

Right before ICP was scheduled to hit the stage, JCW super star Corporal Robinson came out with a camera crew. The crowd was ready for the clowns, and he went on to whip them into a frenzy to film a little bit of a video for a song by (the myth, the legend) Legs Diamond. Fans of the Clowns will recognize Legs from his instrumental and vocal work all over ICP's catalog. Rumors have been floating around about him working on an album since I was a kid, so I can only imagine the project is nearing completion.

There are a few times during the night when the crowd got so loud it was deafening. The first time was when the house lights cut off to signal the start of ICP's set. The speakers thrummed with bass and a record slowly spun up in vaudevillian fashion. The curtains opened, and the lights came up to the tune our National Anthem. And oh say, I could see: a stage covered in pristine unopened Faygo 2 liters, and a patriotic interpretation of the letters ICP as tall as the entire backdrop. The crowd is in a total frenzy at this point, screaming for the clowns. Shouts of "ICP" "Family!" and "We Want Faygo" are battling for supremacy over the general roar. Then, out come Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J on tricycles pimped out in styles both patriotic and psychopathic.

The crowd was beside themselves, or at least they would have been if there was any room in the pit. (They
were packed in there like Vienna Sausages.) ICP opened with "In Your Face" off of Bang Pow Boom, and immediately the clowns had the audience right where they wanted them. After a few bars, Violent J grabbed the first 2 liter of the night and the crowd went (pardon the pun) insane.

For those of you who don't know, an Insane Clown Posse concert is like a baptism in Faygo. You don't attend the concert so much as tread soda pop the entire time. Tonight, the true believers were ready for their sacrament. ICP does not disappoint, they even have "Faygo Breaks" periodically during the show (during one of which I had to dive in front of my photographer to save her very expensive camera from a high velocity sample of Faygo Diet Rootbeer that was being fired from a water cannon). What is it like to be at one of these shows? Awesome. Fucking amazing. I have lost count of the people who have told me they hate ICP and then have gone to a show and can't stop raving about how much fun it was.

Trying to write notes on the set list and what ever else was going on, (even when hiding behind a speaker stack) was difficult at best. You know that scene from Forrest Gump when he is in Vietnam, and he's writing that super fine gal from The Princess Bride letters about how the rain falls sideways and falls up and there was hard rain and soft rain and all that? Well imagine that but with thousands of variegated flavors of diet Faygo and that is a pretty close approximation.

The set list had a very good sampling of some of the fan favorites. "Hokus Pokus", "Dead Body Man", "Bitches", "The Show Must Go On", "Tilt-A-Whirl", "Birthday Bitches", "I Stab People", "Fuck The World", "Miracles", "Down With The Clown" (Remix), "Marsh Lagoon", "The Nedden Game", "Let's Go All The Way", "Homies" (w/ Twiztid), "If I Was A Serial Killer", and finally "Bang Pow Boom" for the Faygo Armageddon at the end of the show.

ICP's stage show is quite elaborate (as if rapping and throwing deelicious 2 liters onto the masses wasn't enough). For "Dead Body Man" they had a crew of zombies come out who would alternately grab Faygo and just flop around dead on the stage. For "Chicken Hunting" they threw feathers all over the crowd (and soda, don't think I forgot) and I feel like there was some sort of racist redneck effigy that was hurled out there too. For "Birthday Bitches" streamers were thrown, and most ended up tangled in the lighting grid. For a special treat, Twiztid even came out to share the stage and do their verses from "Homies".

The final number was quite a spectacle this tour. For years ICP has ended the show on a high note and brought out everyone on the tour (as well as a whole heap of their pals) to throw the last of the soda. This is known as the Faygo Armageddon, and for good reason: if you weren't wet before, you will be by the end of this thing. ICP's thing is all about the packaging. Mainstream artists sell 200,000 units on iTunes, do a shitty arena show and then go home, but not the clowns. On this tour, ICP began offering VIP packages for the first time, which includes a Meet & Greet, Tour Shirt, CD, and (but wait there's more) the chance to participate in the final number, and help dump soda on your fellow ninjas in the pit. Breaking down the barrier between artist and fan is what separates Psychopathic from the majority of big label acts and even a lot of the independent ones.

A BIG thank you to Psychopathic Records for inviting us to take part in one of their biggest and baddest tours to date. Another thank you goes out to the staff at The Grove of Anaheim, especially all the poor bastards that had to clean all that crap up. Stay tuned, we'll be posting more pictures on a flickr for all your observing pleasure as soon as we get 'em all watermarked with our Ace photographer Brandy's name all over 'em.

Here is a quick sample of what you are missing if you don't go see this show! (This was shot in another state, earlier on the tour.) Buy the ticket, take the ride my friends.


1 comment:

  1. I am a reporter at Crain's Detroit Business. We're doing a story about the accidental marketing of ICP and Faygo soda. Could we use your photos for our story?

    Please contact me at to discuss.