I didn’t tell my friends what show they would be going to with me last night. Instead, I waited until one of my friends drove all the way from Eau Claire, Wisconsin (over an hour away) and my other friend arrived in her Uber and was safely locked into my apartment with no way to bail on the evening. It’s not that I wasn’t excited for the show or was ashamed to be taking them to this show but… okay, I was a bit embarassed. But I go where the shows take me and I sure as shit wasn’t going alone last night.
There’s something about the Insane Clown Posse culture that I just can’t get enough of. Since 1989, the duo of Shaggy 2 Dope (who was playing last night and now you understand why I had to kind of trick my friends into going to the show) and Violent J have created a whole world where the Hatchetman (their logo) is king and face paint is cool. I can’t explain to you why I’m so fascinated with this scene but I am. I think it’s because I kind of understand it. Sure, I think it’s a bit weird and I was a bit terrified of the clown masks and the people with face paint on but that’s just the scene that these people fell into and now call family. I’m sure they would think the same thing if they came to one of my typical metal shows where people are acting like ninjas in the moshpit whereas to me, that’s normal. You know what they say, different strokes for different folks and last night was a prime example of that.
Tre Lb (pronounced Tre Pound) was the first one to take the stage. Although I had never heard of him before, I was clearly in the minority. Tre Lb is half of the duo Chop Shop which is a well known group in this scene. With the lights flashing and the smoke machine working over time, there was a definite vibe to this show that I have only ever seen at a Insane Clown Posse show. Randomly throughout the night would be the chant of “fam-i-ly” followed by the signature “Whoop Whoop!”. It was bizarre but, again, I get it. Just like my metal scene is my family, this scene of Juggalos and Juggalettes (what they call the followers of ICP) is a family and I was on the outside looking in, confused, but I was starting to get it.
My friends and I stuck out like sore thumbs at this show and that, unfortunately, brought some unwanted attention our way. Half way through Ouija Macc’s set we realized there were a couple of guys that just wouldn’t stop looking at us and following us around the venue. A bit shook, the three of us decided to stand in the corner of the bar so we could ease up from constantly checking our backs. Although a bit scary, I knew that we were safe and my friends quickly caught on. The only reason I mention this situation is because I was absolutely stunned by how the staff handled this situation and even caught onto what was happening. The staff could tell something was up when we all moved to the corner of the bar. The staff seemed to instantly go on guard. Every time one of us would go to the bathroom, go outside, or even throw a drink away, the staff had eyes on us just making sure everything was okay. Even after we had said our goodbyes and went outside to wait for our Uber, the guy working door security was watching us through the window (which also led to a bit of a scare when we turned around to see him standing right there). I seriously can not thank them enough. They turned what could have been a pretty crappy situation that ruined our night into a super safe situation where we all felt more than comfortable and ended up befriending the staff. So to Joshua the bartender, the guy working the front door and the older gentleman guarding the bar– thank you so much. You all are truly the best in the business and I will definitely be frequenting Lee’s Liquor Lounge more after this experience.
A clear party atmosphere, Shaggy 2 Dope had the audience right where he wanted them- singing along to every word of every song with a sense of intensity and passion, the crowd was clearly loving every minute of it and instantly forgot about the long wait. Did I enjoy listening to the high misogynistic lyrics throughout Shaggy 2 Dope’s set? Absolutely not but, it’s not my place to judge his music nor the people that like it. Again, different strokes for different folks. As much as I couldn’t stand the lyrics, I did love the way the audience was so involved in the show. It was truly like crashing a family reunion and being able to watch it all happen right in front of me was a bit magical.