LIVE: Insane Clown Posse @ Upstate Concert Hall, 3/4/18
Review and photographs by Jess Ayotte
Insane Clown Posse came to town with their Slamfest 2018 headlining tour to Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park last Sunday night. Initially known as a hip-hop duo, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope formed in 1989 helping shape a unique genre known has horrorcore, a fusion of hardcore and hip-hop. Their elaborate live performances and dark lyrics created their own highly dedicated fanbase, proudly calling themselves Juggalos.
It’s safe to say that Insane Clown Posse has a fanbase unlike any other. What is a Juggalo? They have often been compared to fans like Deadheads, but Juggalos take their dedicated fandom to the next level. From Hatchetman tattoos to clown face paint, Juggalos have been known to display their love for the horrorcore duo, especially at live shows. Their message is about being yourself and having a close family bond with other Juggalos, even so
much so that the FBI has classified them as a gang in four states. The band has even organized the Gathering of the Juggalos, an exclusive ICP-themed festival that’s been hosted annually since 2000. ICP attracts fans from all over the country, and Greater Nippertown fans seem especially rabid.
The band’s elaborate decor was assembled behind a wall of black tarps before the show began. The lights were cut. Eerie carnival music played. And the fans were prepared for what was to come next – a monsoon of root-beer and cola Faygo soda and a performance unlike any other.
The stage set – a highly theatrical look inside their famed Dark Carnival – made it easy to forget that you were there to see a concert. And the theatricality didn’t stop with elaborate decor. Clowns dressed in glitter, monkeys, bears and unicorns took the stage with the duo as they preformed hits like “My Axe” and most importantly “Faygo Breaks.”
Faygo is a soft drink company based out of ICP’s hometown of Detroit. Originally started as a way to retaliate at heckling fans, ICP douses their fans with more than 500 liters of the soda in a single gig. Barrels filled with two-liter bottles disguised as popcorn sat on both ends of the stage waiting to be tossed into the crowd. Within a scant two minutes of the performance’s start, front row fans were fully drenched in the root-beer flavored Faygo. Throughout the show, the duo and their carnival crew dumped buckets, bottles and sprayed super soakers all over the crowd and security staff. With more than three “Faygo breaks” per show, the crew at Upstate Concert Hall were well prepared, wrapping their stage equipment in plastic before the performance. This wasn’t ICP’s first trip to Clifton Park…
ICP concluded Sunday night’s show with an expected Faygo-filled finale, resulting in fans rushing the stage and joining Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope for their final “Faygo Break” of the evening. Even after the duo left the
stage, the fans stayed and chanted “family” until they were asked to leave by security. If you’re planning on seeing ICP for yourself, I would suggest you bring a raincoat.