Take the vilest joke that someone has ever told you. Picture yourself laughing out loud at it, then having the person that told you the joke look you in the eyes and say, “No, really, that’s what I did on Tuesday night.” Then you say to yourself “Wait, is he serious?” That was impression I’d had of Insane Clown Posse from the moment I first heard their name.
I’d been to the Great Saltair once prior to the ICP show on Oct. 7 (you try saying Insane Clown Posse 30 times). Saltair is a large venue and has many vantage points to see the show without actually having to be in the crowd. But, I really wanted to know what the fans would be/look like, more so than any other concert I’ve been to.
I’d recently learned that male ICP fans are referred to as Juggalos and the females, Juggalettes. These are not casual fans. Juggalos adapt a lifestyle that entails donning clown makeup, owning as much band merchandise as possible, attending annual gatherings, and immersing their lives in ICP Culture. You know, like joining up with your favorite religious cult. So be it'I was intrigued. If a Juggalette had a baby with a regular person, was it considered a Juggalo? If a Juggalo sweats on me, do I become one when the moon is full?
The theme of the night was lines. In the line to get into the show, I became eerily aware of my surroundings. At the very least, 80 percent of the crowd was wearing clown makeup and ICP apparel. I guess the old adage of “Don’t wear the shirt of the band you’re going to see” is not in the Juggalo handbook.
Once inside, I stood in another line to get to the bar'my first and foremost goal for the night. I am terrified of clowns. I was surrounded by people dressed like them. Two minutes into the bar line, I got my ass grabbed'quite firmly, I might add'by a clown who then pointed to his Juggalette as though she were the culprit. I could only stand there speechless and shaking my head. Put that in your It sequel, Stephen King.
At Saltair, you have to purchase a membership to get into the Salt Lick bar'because surely you’ll be making the drive to Saltair 10 times over the course of three weeks for martinis. But, at least the drinks were reasonably priced.
During all my line standing, there were three opening bands.
The first band, Wolfpac, made me believe in earplugs. Their only saving grace: A dancing evil midget. Everybody needs one of those. Band No. 2, Boondox, had girl-on-girl stripper action and portable stripper poles'thank you technology! Thirdly, not smooth jazz, as their name had led me to think, was Subnoize Souljaz. No strippers, no clowns, no midgets … but they were shirtless! My brain tends to block out traumatic moments, so that set is a blur.
In the restroom, there was an array of Juggalettes touching up their clown makeup, making me feel silly for simply reapplying my boring lipstick. I hear the men’s restroom was just as cramped for mirror time, since it had been raining.
ICP finally came on, and they did have an impressive stage set. The crowd was more into them than I had ever seen at a show, singing all the words and chanting. Apparently, ICP also have a soda line called Faygo'Lil John and Diddy eat your hearts out. They sprayed the Saltair audience with gallons of it, and then covered them in confetti'the equivalent of being tarred and feathered?
I was convinced I’d meet my demise at this show, but the crowd was actually just as docile as any show I’d ever been too'minus the ass-grabbery. I do, however, continue to be amazed by the legions of hardcore followers Insane Clown Posse have. The show and music were lacking any substance that I could comprehend, and it still inspired this many people to come out in droves. Maybe it’s something in the Faygo.