Insane Clown Posse wrapped up their co-headlining Slamfest Tour with Attila in their hometown of Detroit at The Fillmore in style on Sunday night with DJ Clay backing them up. The tour also featured performances from Sylar, Cage and Lil Toenail, as well as Lyte and Ouija and was hosted by Rudeboy and DJ Carlito. With the Easter holiday and April Fool's Day sharing a date, the band couldn't resist finishing things off with a bang. Juggalos packed the venue for a balanced set that featured some of the band's concert staples but also reached into the vault with rare tracks popping up throughout the set.The controversial hip-hop band has thrived by doing everything independently and building their rabid community of fans. ICP is currently gearing up for the July 20 release of their fifteenth studio album Fearless Fred Fury. Here are just five reasons to check out ICP live next time they come through your town.
Formed in 1989 the hip-hop duo of ICP, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope has always done whatever they wanted in spite of perceived rules of society or the music world. They created their own world, their "dark carnival" through their explicit and violent lyrics and they invited those who thrived on rejecting societal rules to come along on their journey. The pair's no apology attitude is one that deeply connects with their fans and continues to gain them publicity, both good and bad. Sunday's show strongly showcased this as the pair had their explicit lyrics shouted back at them and found the crowd throwing up their middle fingers along with them. Their defiance and ability to just be "one of them" guarantees their continued success.
ICP has always been a visual duo as their merchandise sales can rival that of just about any band in the business. Their elaborate set pieces that help bring to life their carnival atmosphere is worth going to a show just by itself and their Slamfest Tour did not disappoint as they pulled off a display of life-sized game boards. Massive boards featuring the names “The Game of Death" and “Autopsy," à la the Milton Bradley game fixtures Life and Operation, were on display alongside various childhood displays and toys including a huge Icee cup sporting ICP, a Hulk Hogan action figure, a Mr. Potato Head and various carnival props. The duo was pushed out by "postal workers" inside of presents that a pair of "children" unwrapped to find the pair in clear action figure boxes with their names displayed behind them. As the figures came to life, the pair burst out of the boxes and the fun began as they moved into the bouncy track "Toy Box," throwing their staple Faygo out into the crowd.
An ICP show is not just another concert; it's an event. There is a sense of community among their fans, many of which travel all over for their shows. The day of a show the Juggalos meet up early and hang out late afterward. They support all of the bands on the set, but they are also not afraid to quickly turn on those that do anything they feel is rude towards this community they thrive in. They sport the clown face paint like their idols or pull out wild costumes. Throughout Sunday's show, any downtime was met with the fans chanting ICP's name and their signature "family" chant. Once the pair took to the stage, the crowd went insane, cheering every song like it was their favorite and dancing, jumping and yelling out every lyric. The show being in the band's hometown of Detroit also brought a reunion-like feel to things.
4) An energetic mix of genres
Although at heart ICP is a hip-hop band, they've always mixed a variety of genres into their music, which spawned their placement in the horrorcore genre. Both Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope have a wide variety of influences and they have all come out at various points in their discography. Classic hip hop beats sit alongside metal and rock influences and occasionally pop and dance elements. Sunday's set was no different as heavy tracks like "Let's Go All The Way" were mixed in with old school tracks like "Southwest Strangla" and oddities like "We Belong."
5) A journey
The Dark Carnival was born from Violent J's dreams and over the years it has grown into a living, breathing entity in its own right and the Juggalo fan base has embraced it and brought their own ideas and flavors to it. When you go to see ICP live, the show is a massive journey that winds through various stories that delve into a variety of topics and emotions. The band's lyrics both promote and abhor violence, religion and sex and denounce controversial subjects like sexual abuse, ignorance and prejudice. The band's humor can be literal and sometimes disguised, but they never take themselves too seriously. However, you are just as likely to laugh as you are to cry at a show as the band also isn't afraid to get deep and dramatic. The Detroit show featured over-the-top tracks like "Play With Me" and "Tilt-A-Whirl," but also more emotional ones like "Falling Apart" and "Truly Alone." The entire experience is both exhilarating and enthralling, if not a bit out there.