by Casey Schwochow
Over the past weekend, Insane Clown Posse (ICP) staged two shows at the Majestic Theater in Detroit: “The Rude Boy Benefit Show” (Friday night); “Riddle Box Tour” (Saturday night). Needless to say, we here at How Was It Detroit had tickets to both memorable evenings.
The Rude Boy, who introduced ICP members Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope to South West Detroit, has fallen on some hard times financially due to a triple bypass heart surgery he had recently underwent; Friday night’s show was organized to relieve some of his medical costs. This was a special event, as both Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope performed solo sets.
Accompanying Violent J were two hype-men in the form of The Rude Boy and the newest Psychopathic recording artist, Lyte. DJ Carlito, who happens to be The Rude Boy’s son, joined the three as they kicked off the night with the riot-inducing “Chicken Huntin”. Violent J’s noticeably slimmer figure has rejuvenated him as a performer; he moves with much more ease on stage and his vocal ability is once again top notch. He covered plenty of classical material, with ICP tunes “Mr. Happy,” “Crooked Preacha Killas,” “Cotton Candy,” and many more. Solo material from his albums included “Jealousy” and “Shiny Diamonds”. Some songs were fully performed, while others received the medley treatment. Since this was a special show, typical ICP theatrics like soaking the crowd with Faygo had been withheld. It was a breath of fresh air to be up close and personal without getting drenched.
Violent J called out Shaggy 2 Dope during “Cherry Pie (I Need a Freak),” then the duo performed a few more ICP classics together, including “Tilt-A-Whirl”. Immediately after, Violent J exited the stage to let Shaggy 2 Dope take over. DJ Clay lent his talents as—obviously—DJ and the occasional hype-man. Shaggy, much like J, performed solo material, including “Fuck Off” and “Cobwebs in the Attic,” as well as ICP classics “Bakooza Joey,” “Hokus Pokus,” and “Southwest Strangla”. He also teased us with a snippet of a new tune from his forthcoming solo album.
Some audience members climbed on stage and either dove off or just mugged the crowd below. Virtually everyone was belting along and having a great time. Shaggy brought out Violent J at the end to perform more ICP tunes including “The Great Milenko” and “Assassins”. The duo closed out the evening with “Pass Me By,” bouncing on stage with a dozen or so enthusiasts who had ecstatically accepted their invitation.
The night was special, with two full solo sets and the added bonus of experiencing ICP songs in tandem.
On Saturday, ICP performed their acclaimed 1995 album Riddle Box. Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope said that it’d be the last time they perform this show on US soil. Many in the crowd, the Juggalo and Juggalettes, and all the bartenders, wore makeup that transformed them into clowns. The audience encapsulated all ages; I spotted several grade school kids including a 10-year-old from Illinois who attended his first juggalo show the night before and was now back for round two with his parents. I remember a foolish juggalo stage dove on him while he was on his dad’s shoulders. He and his dad, surprisingly, remained strong in the ruckus, and were not deterred from enjoying a second helping.
ICP had stocked buckets of Faygo that were on hand from the get-go. Several crowd members jumped on stage, grabbed one for themselves and sprayed the audience. Not that ICP needed any help in that department. The duo are masters of Faygo soaking and hurling. The crowd was getting dosed by the second song, and there were zombies (helpers) on stage supplying buckets full of 2 liters of diet root beer. The zombies also acted as ICP’s security and urged people to dive back into the crowd if they had spent too much time on stage.
ICP are masters of live show theatrics. I know there are plenty of haters out there, but I can tell you first hand that the duo puts on a live show that’s difficult to surpass. They’re in it for the entertainment value—and they give it their all. Clowns and Zombies danced on the stage all night and engaged the audience with such antics as catapulting a sacrificial stuffed redneck doll into a bloodthirsty audience who tore it to shreds during the aptly dubbed “Chicken Huntin’”.
While ICP performed “Headless Boogie,” several zombies, who were holding decapitated heads, lined up in front of the stage, then danced a choreographed number. For the song “Lil’ Somethin’ Somethin,” ICP summoned the Juggalettes, and a slew of avid female fans converged on stage. At one point during ICP’s set, both Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope chucked four full cases of Faygo into a thunderstruck crowd…that’s 32 unopened 2 liters of diet root beer… You have to keep a keen eye open at ICP show because anything’s liable to happen.
The boys performed Riddle Box in its entirety and closed the evening with “I’m Coming Home”. By the end of the night, the stage had been occupied by Juggalos and Juggalettes for a Faygo Armageddon moment; a blast of confetti garnished the venue with a colorful snowstorm. Bottle caps covered the stage and empty 2 liters of Faygo were strewn throughout the Majestic Theatre as the crowd exited the venue. Some even clenched bottles of Faygo, returning home with them as a souvenirs. There’s no doubt the wicked clowns left the crowd not only soaked but well entertained.
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