There are plenty of reasons to not go to an ICP concert: you find their music offensive. You're terrified of their fans. They're playing two hours away in the Connecticut city that doesn't have the rich people. On the other hand, what are you, some kind of jerk off? If somebody offers you a ticket, take the ticket! Even if you're not sure you'll have the courage to enter the venue, you can at least stop for a historic dinner in that town Yale's in, which for some reason isn't Yalesville. Here's how it went down last Friday night:
All signs pointed to a hilariously unpredictable evening.
Drew thought we were going to a Black Eyed Peas concert.
Jeff Koons stirs up a classic road trip debate: "Is that two dogs humping each other?" "No, it's a balloon animal." "Two balloon dogs humping each other?" (Note: Apparently it's not Jeff Koons, it's Paul McCarthy -- thanks Ellie, I feel tons smarter now.)
We stopped for red meat at New Haven's Louis' Lunch, "The Birthplace of the Hamburger Sandwich".
According to this counter inscription, Louis' was also the first restaurant in New Haven to allow Jews!
ICP fun fact #1: Juggalos don't clap, they yell "Whoop Whoop!" Intentionally misspelling "Whoop" can lead to terrible things happening to your face.
Even the most hardcore hatchet man would applaud Louis' still using its original cast-iron grill, which dates back to 1898, the year Spain and America went to war over Louis Lassen's refusal to use condiments.
Bread toasted in this also-very-old appliance is what turns a hamburger into a "hamburger sandwich".
Unless otherwise requested, all patties are cooked medium rare for that "Was Mick Jagger wearing lipstick when he took a bite of your burger?" look.
Not wanting to offend, Drew changed into the shirt he wears in polite company. Kawaii!
On to Hartford, where the poor economy is mitigated by the fact that anyone can cash a check here! Or can they?
During shows, ICP sprays so much Detroit-made Faygo soda on the crowd, they actually recommend storing electronics in plastic baggies.
The venue had to change its name after a legal dispute with the letter "W".
This guy's MC posse, Outland Camp, will be opening for the Geto Boys in June. How did they amass that kind of cred?
By doing this, since '07.
This guy is not affiliated with Outland Camp. However, he is affiliated with whooping your ass.
Apparently somebody in California already had the license plate "Vampire", but as Bunny explained, "You kind of get the point".
And if you don't at first, this ought to drive it home.
This is Kodi. She works for ICP.
She gave me a VIP pass, which entitles you to get onstage during Faygo Armageddon and douse the crowd with 2-liter bottles of the good stuff. I told her I felt weird receiving such an honor at my first show when a lot of these fans had been to hundreds. She basically called me the thing that Outland Camp has been kicking since 2007, but in a super-nice way.
To properly worship ICP, you must attend merch.
In the 21+ section, which is kind of like a VIP, except not at all classy. But it does offer protection from getting moshed on, and tall boys only cost $2! Until the bartender realizes her mistake and charges you $4.
This is before ICP even came onstage.
Here we go.
Unlike some demons, these demons just came to party.
However, these demons came to torture your soul for all eternity. These demons are total assholes!
Faygo Armageddon time. The crew was so excited it was hard to get them to stay still.
ICP doesn't spray just any Faygo on fans -- they go with Diet Root Beer, which is the most aromatic flavor, but also the least sticky. They might write songs about serial killers, but you can't say they're not considerate.
How much Faygo are we talking about? So much that the band has a soda-loaded truck follow them around for resupplies. That way towns trying to prevent an ICP invasion can't defeat them with a "scorched Faygo policy".
Once you get over your fear that you're going to launch the Faygo bottle all wrong and smash somebody in the face with a full 2ls, this is basically the most fun you'll ever have in your life.
Seriously, thank you Violent J. I know I didn't earn it, but this was just awesome. I'm never going to wash this shirt.
And thank you, scary clown, just for being you.
To be totally honest I was too intimidated to romance any of the lady Juggalos in attendance. But a certain someone did catch my eye.
Unfortunately she was totally turned off by me being covered in diet root beer, even though I told her that flavor was specifically chosen because it wasn't sticky.
It's important to bring a change of clothes to an ICP show, but this was all I could find at the office. Everybody said they'd seen this shirt somewhere before, but couldn't quite place where.
All in all, it was a great night. Juggalos might be crazy, but from Bunny Chiba to the dude who told me there's no right way to spray Faygo because "it's all about finding the method that's right for you", if you're cool to them, they'll treat you like a friend.