In Which Our Hero Gets Down With The Wicked Clowns

I stayed late at my job for one of my co-workers to paint my face...and while she did an OK job, it wasn't as good as I would have liked. Now I didn’t do this just for fun, although that’s as good a reason as any, but because I was going to see the Insane Clown Posse, and their schtick is that they are painted up like clowns. Hense, the name. The makeup felt like I was dipped in a vat of canola oil, and my hair was constantly getting stuck in it, but when I saw myself in a mirror, I decided it was worth it.

It WAS fun to see people staring at me as I left the building in black and white clown face. I, of course, treated it as I always do, acting like there was nothing wrong in the world. The drive to the concert was a NIGHTMARE, since I parked in downtown Minneapolis, and for some reason it took from 6 to 6:30 just to get out of the parking lot...then there was snow slowing everyone I didn't even get into St. Paul proper until a little after 7, which is when the concert was to start. Then, there was also a hockey game, so to get from off the interstate to the parking ramp was another 20 minutes to go three blocks.


So, I missed Nashville Pussy, who I have seen a couple of times at clubs and such...and I like them, a fun rock & roll act with a too die for female bassist.

I park the car, throw my coat on the seat (I was wearing my jeans, a t-shirt and a flannel) and did the two block hike in the snow to the concert. When I get there, there are TONS of people in juggalo paint as well as people going to the hockey game on the other side, so it was a nice mix of teenagers ready to listen to punk and hip hop and St. Paul suburbanites who don't quite know what they are looking at. Luckily, there was no line to get I had bought Balcony tickets because the last time I did a general admission show it was Soul Coughing, and I got WAY too close to the mosh pit, which was annoying for someone my age. And I don't like people touching me, unless they are going to take off an item of clothing before or after they touch me.

It was between sets, so I milled about and rapidly ascertained that once again, I was the oldest person there. I don't know how to take that a lot of the time. Am I someone who still likes to go out and have fun, or some old guy recapturing his youth? Then, the next act started (Suicidal Tendencies) and the lead singer is old school punk...and his band answered my questions...this is the stuff I liked when I was in college but never got to see due to living in Macomb Illinois. If HE can still get on stage and have fun, why I can't I GO see him have fun. They did about a half hour set which was full of old school punk energy, songs about anger, three minutes long of loud, clashing guitars. And I had been able to move up to about three feet from the barricade on the left side of the stage.

When the lights came up, I looked around. A LOT of white teen boys in face paint, a few girls, some goth and punk spillover, but for the most part, these were kids where in about 5 years will be marrying their college girlfriend and wondering which SUV to buy to get groceries in. Packaged enough for mom and dad to approve, but bad enough that they FEEL like it's a little dangerous. I also made an observation that will stick with me...I think we really need to enforce the smoking age limit. Not for health reason, as I want people to smoke a lot so that they die...all praise St. Darwin. No, because they all do it so badly they look like morons. Smoking a Winston, and whipping it away from your mouth like it might set YOU on fire is not James Dean ot Sean Connery to see how to smoke in a cool manner...if you can't do that, just smoke like the old ladies at Perkins at 10 at night with the unfiltered Pall Malls, because even THAT is better than how they look.

It took a LONG time between sets...almost an hour, and during that time most of the kids were playing hackey sack, chatting up the few girls there or chanting derogatory slogans about Enemem (who is a target for a LOT of ICP jokes). Then, when the lights went down, the curtains pulled back, and on the stage was a set up with revolving platforms, 4 big barrels full of Faygo soda, and a background like a twisted kind of circus.

Out comes the two guys who make up the Insane Clown Posse. They don't take any time out, but immediately start the show, taking two liter bottles of Faygo, shaking them up and spraying them out at the crowd. That, I was not ready for. The whole show they are throwing soda on the crowd...sometimes using the bottles as maracas, spraying soda all over themselves, sometimes as spray guns, sometimes just pouring them onto themselves and others, sometimes bouncing them onto the stage violently and watching them careen into the crowd, sometimes just tossing closed bottles, sometime kicking them like footballs, and once in a while using water cannons to drench those of us up close. I was socked to the skin, and while it was weird, I was laughing pretty much the whole time, dancing in the spray and chanting along with the songs.

About 4 times during the show, a very tall, lanky sort of teenager came up to me and acted like he knew me. He'd say, "How ya doing...did you see where Steve went?" I had no idea who it was. Maybe one of the kids from the group home I work at...maybe one of the guys who hangs at the comic shop. I would point into the main mass of the crowd, he's grab me in a "male hug-like" gesture and go into the teeming mass, only to be seen later, asking the same question.

There were other things that were fun during the show (including girls wearing half shirts getting up on their boyfriend's shoulders, getting drenched while they were being bounced about...lots of bouncing if you know what I mean, and I think you do), but at the end of the show, they told all the juggalos to join them on stage. Which we did. It scared the bejeebus out of the security folks who scattered like bowling pins as the band was grabbing hands and pulling people on stage for the last song (The one slow/ meaningful/ radio friendly song they have "Crystal Ball"), But it was great to be up on stage in the middle of a Faygo fight.

No encore, of course, since it was a bit of mess after we got done on stage. I have no idea what they did to the kids who climbed up the ladders, trying to get the the lights, but I didn't see them as I lept off the stage.

They put on a hell of a show, with dancing go go girls during "My Axe Is My Buddy", having the crowd sing all but the chorus of "Mr. Happy" (Yep, all they had to do was scream, "Ooooo, everytime I murder I get Happeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" and we all went nuts and started singing).

It didn't hit me how drenched I was until I went outside. Without a coat. Covered in Soda.


On my way out I saw a lot of families from the hockey game, and the kids were asking where all the clowns were coming from as mothers were hustling them away from the concert addled teenagers they would become in about 5 years. As I left an older woman (prolly in her late 60's) asked me who won the game, and I told her I was at a concert and didn't know. She looked me up and down and said, "It must have been a lot of fun, because everyone coming out looks so happy."

I got back in the car, and rather than even try to fight traffic for a while, I turned the heat on, turned on the radio and listed to "As It Happens" to hear the Canadians make fun of our Presidential Follies. Besides, my hair had frozen into a solid mass of makeup, soda and snow, and I used my gym towel to dry it off enough so as not to drip when I drove.

By the time I got home, I wasn't as wired anymore, but had to wash my face for a good 10 minutes to get the makeup off...and had to wash my hair TWICE to get all of the Faygo out of it.

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