Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be attending a spectacle where the main act consists of two grown men in clown make up, performing a genre of rap known as ‘horror core’ and who take pleasure in dousing their loyal fan base with Faygo soda for hours on end. Does this sound like a normal concert experience? No. Would I have attended the show on my own accord based on the above description? Not likely. Did I fit in with the crowd? Definitely not, but I would be lying to everyone if I said I did not have a hell of a good time!
From the moment the opener Creep Squad hit the stage, the fans began to really engage themselves and show support for a group who clearly were influenced by their make-up wearing heroes. A highlight for this group came towards the end of their set with a song entitled, ‘Lucid Nightmare’. Not only did this song get the best reactions from the crowd, but it was catchy enough that I had caught myself singing the chorus for the next few weeks or so.
Esham, a seasoned veteran of the rap game was next up and although he was clearly more polished and lyrically sound, the energy that was witnessed from the opening act just didn’t seem to be there, and you can tell the fans were beginning to get restless with anticipation for the headlining act.
Then came the moment everyone was there to see. The horrorcore duo consisting of Violent J (Joseph Bruce) and Shaggy 2 Dope (Joseph Utsler) took the stage for the first time in Ottawa, Canada and the Juggalos and Juggalettes absolutely lost their minds.
The set looked like some sort of carnival from hell, including carneys who looked like they were straight out of a chainsaw massacre movie, and vendor stands which were stocked with Faygo soda. Why Faygo soda you ask? Well undenounced to me, Faygo showers, which is essentially soda being sprayed fairly consistently for the duration of the show, has been a tradition at ICP shows for quite some time and believe me when I tell you that there was not a dry place at this venue when the show was over. Final count was 456 2L bottles.
As this show was in support of the 20th Anniversary of their album ‘The Great Milenko’, the majority of the songs were from that album which may have disappointed some fans who may have been hoping for more of a greatest hit’s compilation. However, to the hundreds of fans who took the time to apply their clown make-up to see their favorite group perform for the first time in their home town, I am sure that is one minor detail they will not dwell on for too long.
I wouldn’t have been able to tell you if any of the songs they performed were fan favorites as every song was cheered equally as loud, and the fans seemed to know every single word to every song that was performed.
The Bourbon Room venue was the perfect stage for ICP as they were able to perform to a loyal fan base in a more confined space that made it seem as though ICP and the fans were engaged with each other the entire night. Violent J at one point even pointed out the fact that he felt that he was playing in a friend’s living room. This shared space made the night even more special for those truly loyal fans. Sticky for sure, but special none the less.